PODCAST: The Surprising Ways Pets Benefit Our HealthFeb. 7, 2023
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We let them into our hearts, our homes, even our bedrooms. Yes, we adore our pets, a love affair that goes back tens of thousands of years, even if it began because these domesticated animals served a specific purpose, such as protection or pest control. Most pets today play less functional roles. Or do they? In today's episode, we learn how pets aren't just our trusted companions. They're also partners in good health.
Hosts: Zach Moore, Katie McCallum (interviewer)
Expert: Dawn Brown, Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist
Notable topics covered:
- How pets improve our mental and social well-being
- The surprising way pets improve our physical health
- The age-old controversy: are dogs better companions than cats?
- Fun facts about the benefits of being a pet owner
- How animals don't just benefit their owners
- Why just watching animal videos is a mood booster
- Animal-assisted therapy, the ultimate example of the power of pets
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ZACH: Welcome to On Health with Houston Methodist. I'm Zach Moore. I'm a photographer and editor here, and I've worked in multimedia and television for over 15 years – and I'm also a longtime podcaster.
KATIE: I'm Katie McCallum. I'm a former researcher turned health writer, mostly writing for our blog.
ZACH: And Katie, do you have pets?
KATIE: Of course, I have three pets. I have a dog, Remi, and I have two cats, Wally and Helena. Helena’s a kitten, so she's been bringing us immense joy…and some frustration here and there. But yeah, huge animal lover. I've always had pets growing up. How about you, Zach?
ZACH: Yeah, I've grown up with dogs my entire life. We had as many as four dogs and one point at home with my mom.
KATIE: That sounds amazing.
ZACH: Yeah, it was. They were a pack, and they were all different, they all had their own personalities. I love that about pets. And, pets, they really become a member of the family, at least as far as us pet lovers go. And I, currently, my wife had two cats, so I live with two cats…
KATIE: Wait, so you're still calling them your wife's cats? You haven’t adopted these as your cats as your own? No adoption papers?
ZACH: Well, they haven't adopted me. Like.
KATIE: Oh, wowwwwww. Well, cats are, cats are finicky.
ZACH: And the thing is, like, I was there when she found them. Like, I'm not like some, you know, stepparent moving in with these cats. Like, hey we found you on the street, cat. Why don't you love me as much as her?
KATIE: But do you ever pay any attention to them, though?
ZACH: Well, I don't know.
KATIE: I see.
ZACH: I was always been a dog person, so I'm getting used to living with cats and whatnot. And it's a different, totally different vibe. It's like, “Oh, she's wagging her tail.” That means something different.
KATIE: It does, yeah. Have they brought you joy, though, into your life? Do you enjoy having them around? Do you feel like they're good companions?
ZACH: I think so, especially when they act like dogs.
KATIE: Make you smile, right? I mean, I laugh at my cats all the time.
ZACH: Well, I mean, again, pets, they have these personalities, right?
ZACH: And you never quite sure where it comes from. Like, how do they develop this way? But like coming home and like, you know, the cat runs over to see you. I'm like, “Oh, that's that's pretty cute.” And as I understand it, that might be unique for cats.
KATIE: Yeah. I will say…my cats do not. [laughter]
ZACH: One of our cats is probably more like dog. So, I like that one. But that one is more the troublemaker. The other one's a literal scaredy cat – hides when strangers are around, hides in the sheets all the time. Always real, real skittish, real finicky. And I don't know, again, I don't know why, we've given these cats love since the day we found them. But no, no, no, pets, animal companions have always been a part of my life, and I find it a very enriching and fulfilling part of my life. And that's part of what we're talking about today, Katie.
KATIE: Yeah, exactly. You know, I think whether it's cats or dogs, both. I mean, my dog makes me laugh. My cat makes me laugh. As they say, laughter's the best medicine. And what we’re going to talk about today is if being a pet owner comes with health benefit, whether that's kind of just the social benefits of having someone around. Maybe you live alone and having a cat is your kind of social companion. Maybe you don't live alone, but they're still, like I said, they make you laugh and make you happy. Can that improve your well-being? But also, we're going to talk about whether there might be physical health benefits that come from being a pet owner, whether that's related to your heart health and other things like that.
ZACH: So, we talked to Dawn Brown. She's a certified therapeutic recreational specialist here at Houston Methodist, and she's a big part of our animal assisted therapy program. And this is a program where volunteers and pet therapy groups come together and bring dogs into our hospitals. Sometimes they're visiting patients sitting in our outpatient clinics while they're waiting for their appointments, sometimes interacting with our staff and our employees. Other times they help people who are recovering in rehab in our rehab centers. And so before we get into how pets generally benefit our health, Dawn's going to talk to us about the animal assisted therapy program, because I think that's a concrete example that sets a good foundation for what we're talking about this week. Let's get into it.
[Sound effect signals start of the interview]
KATIE: I've always kind of wondered if my reaction to pets, you know, they bring me so much joy. I'm so happy around them. I've always wondered if my reaction is just of that of me being an animal lover. But could it also be that pets are actually benefiting everybody's well-being?
DAWN: I think they do. I've seen it with our patients many times. Florence Nightingale was actually one of the first people that incorporated animals into the care of patients, and she's also kind of known as one of the mothers of Therapeutic Recreation, which is interesting too. She started with bunnies, small animals and would bring them around for the patients to pet and hang out with a little bit, which I thought was pretty interesting.
DAWN: Here at Houston Methodist, we’ve got Meeka, Sonny, Lyla, Junie, Amelia, Lola and Scout and Manny. Meeka is a Bouvier. Sonny and Amelia are both Golden Retrievers. Lyla and Junie are Great Pyrenees and Lola is a Bernadoodle. And then Scout is a mix of a ridgeback and I'm not sure what the other mix is, I'd have to check on that for you. But they're all pretty big dogs. And then what we do is when the patients come down with physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy, those therapists will talk to the volunteers and let them know, “Hey, I'm working on this with my patient.” The whole aspect of the rehab animal assisted therapy is it's very goal oriented. And this is what my goal is, is to incorporate functional goals. But working with these animals, let's say that speech therapy is working on short term memory. So what they may do is ask them to get some basic information about the dog, and maybe that person will need to write it down in their memory book, or they'll need to literally remember it five or 10 minutes later, I may come up and say, Oh, what's this dog's name? Or What did you learn about it? And repeat that to me. Hopefully they're able to use that or they'll utilize that memory book. Physical therapy may be working on walking with the patient and utilizing a rolling walker, and then we'll have our volunteer walk with the dog and sometimes they'll be holding the leash with the walker. And we've seen patients go many feet further than they've ever walked before with the dog. And it's the same with speech therapy. We've seen patients be able to speak with more clarity when they're interacting with the dog. Same with occupational therapy. We might have a patient that needs to work on fine motor or arm movement and we'll put a brush in their hand and they have to brush from the head to the tail. And that's big, big movement, gross motor movement, or we may even have fine motor movement where they unclip their vest and they have to use their fingers and their hands to do that. So, it's kind of all well incorporated. But then you got the awesome social aspect of it. They're socializing with each other, they're socializing with the volunteers, and they're interacting as a whole with all the dogs. Nice package.
KATIE: Yeah, it's interesting when you're talking about the speech therapy and asking someone to remember what a dog looks like or things about a dog and then and then say them back to you. You know, I think that is so interesting that it's something that they probably actually can appreciate and think instead of like, oh, what color is this table or this chair? That's a very kind of just like flat item in your mind that you're like, “Oh, I don't really care what color it is, so why would I remember it?”
KATIE: But yeah, I think it speaks to the power of just like, “Oh, I do remember that dog because it was so pretty,” and, you know, “I smiled when it, you know, sat down and looked funny.” Something like that, and I love that. That's really awesome.
DAWN: Sometimes what we'll do, because we have pictures of our dogs, we’ll incorporate that in the speech therapy. The therapist will show those pictures to a patient a couple of days before and they'll write a description maybe in their memory book or something. And then when they come down there, they have to find that dog according to what their description is in the book. So that's interesting. Or physical therapy will say, “Hey, you're going to be in AAT this week. Our goal is going to be to walk with that dog 40 feet or 50 feet. You're already walking 30, so I bet you can do that.” So, it kind of gets them going because they're like, “Oh, yeah, the dogs.” I mean, I have patients that are like, “Am I doing the dogs this week?”
KATIE: That would be me for sure.
DAWN: Yeah, I mean, who doesn't want to get them up on the couch? And then there's some patients that just need it emotionally. They've had a tough week or they've gotten news, some type of news from a personal standpoint or medical, and they just need that dog to lay up there by them and just hang out with them for a little bit. You know, that's just as important in their healing also.
KATIE: As far as the animal assisted therapy, you know, there's the functional side of it. So, do we also have our dogs kind of just wander through rooms and just people can see them and…
DAWN: We can do that. We've literally gone up to the rooms where we've had a patient that couldn't come down. We work with all types of patients, but there are certain ones that we can't, like if we have a patient that has an active infection, you know, respiratory or otherwise. And also with transplant patients, we cannot do that just because there's too much risk. Our dogs are clean, but there's too much risk if there were an infection.
[Sound effect signals interjection in the interview]
KATIE: You know, Zach, I actually did a little bit of research before this interview with Dawn, and I found some cool facts about pets. And I want to share with you and our listeners.
ZACH: Okay, okay.
KATIE: So, a 2017 study found that people who own dogs actually walk more than people who don't own dogs. And it's to the point where they average 22 more minutes of moderate physical activity per day.
ZACH: I believe it.
KATIE: Yeah, same. I walk my dog almost every day. I should walk her every day… I feel terrible now. Now I've put it on air. I’m a horrible dog mom. [laughter]
ZACH: [joking voice] “I let my dog out almost every day.” [laughter]
KATIE: Oh, man. Okay. Another fact. Children raised with pets benefit from positive self-esteem and confidence, as well as helping with nonverbal communication, compassion, even empathy.
ZACH: Mm hmmm.
KATIE: And this is all according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Last fact, a 2015 study conducted in Germany and Australia found that pet owners are actually healthier than non pet owners, and they make 15% fewer annual doctor visits than people who don't have a pet. A qualifying point: It was true even after accounting for gender, age, marital status, income and variables associated with health. Pretty cool facts.
ZACH: That's a lot of good facts about dogs there, Katie. And, as a dog lover myself, first and foremost, I support it. But, in my quest to be more of a cat lover…as we discussed, I have a couple cats in my home now…I did a little research as well. And some studies suggest that the purrs of a cat, those vibrations, could have a healing power. And it's just a theory, but the science of it all is that the frequency of a cat's purr falls into the same range as the vibrational frequencies that are sometimes used to treat pain, swelling and even breathing issues.
KATIE: Interesting. I would believe it. Sometimes at night when my kitten comes, like comes into bed finally and she's purring and she lays on me. It's like, it wakes me up, but like in a good way. And I literally just like, I don't know, it just brings this…you feel it to your core. Like you feel your cat purring on you to your core.
ZACH: I wish I could snuggle with my cats.
KATIE: [joking laughing] Oh that’s right they hate you, so they don’t snuggle with you. [laughter]
ZACH: Well, sometimes if I’m sitting in my recliner like one of them would climb up and just sit on me and start purr. And I'm like, “Oh, this is cute.”
KATIE: Yeah. The perfect bed: A person sitting in a reclining.
ZACH: You try to, like, hug them and stuff. No, none of that. So, it's a very situational love from these cats, I feel. And, also, the same frequency of vibrations are used to promote bone growth and healing after a fracture.
KATIE: Oh wow.
ZACH: So, if you ever break your arm or something, just have a cat sit on it.
KATIE: I wish I had my cat when I broke my ankle a few years ago, I could have got out of my boot way faster! [laughter]
ZACH: That’s right, I forgot about that. [laughter] Now, there is a 2004 study that showed that cat therapy improved depressive symptoms and significantly reduced blood pressure in elderly patients in a long term care facility. That's from 2004.
KATIE: Nice. It's so interesting because Dawn has talked a lot about the animal assisted therapy program where, you know, the dogs are in the hospitals doing things for our patients in hospitals. All this makes me think maybe we need to start asking Dawn some questions about how pets generally benefit our health. Everyone. Me, you, our listeners sitting at home, maybe their dog sitting right next to them on the couch while they're listening to the podcast? I hope so. That sounds awesome. Yeah, so I think maybe we ask her some of those questions.
ZACH: All right. More of that after the break.
KATIE: Back to our conversation with Dawn. [sound effect] So, as far as what we what we know about how pets benefit our health…Are there certain things that are defined in the sense of, okay, pets might help your social well-being in this way or your mental health in this way? Are there specific things we know?
DAWN: There are specific things. There's been studies to show that it helps with cardiovascular health. It lowers heart rates, it decreases tension, and psychologically and physically decreases stress. It promotes healing of the whole body, it decreases blood pressure, increases positive thinking, which also helps with just generalized healing of any body. Because we get a lot of patients that are depressed, they've been in the hospital a long time, they haven't been outdoors, they haven't seen animals or their pets or anything. Especially with COVID, they didn't even have family coming in to see them. We actually did a program where we had the pets on a Zoom program where we were having them…
KATIE: Yes! Yeah.
DAWN: And it worked. I mean, it was something that we just kind of came up with as a group and said, let's do it. And that worked. We've seen it help all of our staff also, because I think everybody has seen that being incorporated with the dogs going to the floor and seeing all of our staff too.
KATIE: Yeah, you mentioning kind of like zooming the dogs in made me think of a question I had for you is, you know, is it just being around pets physically we get these benefits from or is it also just seeing them? You know, I think I'm thinking of like my TikTok for you page is literally just pet video after pet video after pet video of cats, dogs, all the other weird pets people have these days. So is it even just seeing a pet kind of just lights us up in a positive way, too?
DAWN: I think it does. I think just us talking about it in this room, we're both smiling when we're talking about the videos. And, so, when we did Zoom thing, we said, let's try it. Everybody's stuck at home and it can't hurt. And when we would get the patients involved, they loved it because our volunteers had their dogs outdoors around the pool or chasing a ball or just interacting with them, and they just get this great smile on their face. I mean, when I see a pet video, I light up and we show each other videos, right? Like, look at the puppies. Or look at this old dog and he's able to do this. And I think it just I think it's just such a positive and it makes you think about the fact that they are they don't care what your day was like. You know, they greet you no matter what and they love you no matter what. And you can tell on your worst day ever…
KATIE: Right, yeah.
DAWN: There’s no judgment.
KATIE: It's a no judgment zone.
DAWN: Exactly. Exactly.
KATIE: Yeah. There's kind of nothing like coming home and, you know, my dog is the most excited to see me, and it's probably not surprising the two cats, you know, like they're there and they look at me. But my dog is just like, every time, I could be gone for 5 minutes and I come home and she is just whining, she's excited, she's picking up her toy and bringing it to me. It kind of, you know, when you think about how we show up for other people, it's not quite like that. So, you know, like my partner comes home I’m... Not that I mean… I should be more excited like that, probably.
DAWN: Same with me. Yeah. I like seeing my husband come home, but I love seeing the reaction from my dog.
KATIE: Yeah, exactly. There's just something about it that, like, feels so amazing.
KATIE: I love that. I love, too, that you mentioned that there's the physical, like the actual physical health benefits to it. It's not just the they make your day happier. They, you know, maybe lower blood pressure and things like that. Yeah that's incredible.
DAWN: Yeah. I mean, think about it. If you've had a really bad day or rough day, what happens when your dog hangs out with you on the couch or you get that happy greeting? It kind of makes everything melt away, right? To a point and it makes everything just you kind of relax or the fact is, you know, there were a lot of dogs adopted through the pandemic and you have to walk them in. That's exercise, and that carries over into your overall health and well-being. A lot of elderly, you know, they have pets and that kind of keeps them going, too. So, I think it benefits across the board. And, you know, you get the dopamine going, which is pleasure and satisfaction, and you get the endorphins going and that produces that calming effect and it just kind of all works, doesn't it, when you see that? I mean, no matter how bad the news is, I don't really watch the news anymore, but no matter what's going on in the world, I can look and see my dog hanging out and just start giggling at the way he's laying on his back with his legs up in the air. We were talking about this the other day, about all the different little things we do with our pets, cats or dogs or whatever you have. I have friends that have lizards and other things, but we all have our little games we do with them. My dog loves to go get his baby when we get home and he just wagging his tail, moving his whole body, you know, to hand me that baby. And you know, other people have the things like rub in the belly while they're on, you know, laying on their back and their legs going. I mean, we all have our stuff.
DAWN: And that relaxes me. And it kind of makes my day complete.
KATIE: Yeah. I think, too, as you're as you're talking about it, it reminds me that I think my pets bring me into the present moment a lot – which is probably something I'm not very good at. I'm, I'm in my head a lot. But when your pet is just doing something really cute, all you can do is just look at them and be like, “Oh, my gosh, that's adorable.” Or even, like you were mentioning the news, it's really hard not to kind of like start doom scrolling and go to those bad places. But then, you know, your cat like gets stuck in a box, you know, like that stuff is just so it is that thing of it kind of brings you right back into reality. Like what's right in front of you is like, you know, these pets and they love you and they're funny.
DAWN: And you appreciate that.
KATIE: Exactly, yeah.
[Sound effect signals interjection in the interview]
ZACH: Dawn has described how pets improve not just our emotional health, but our physical health, too. But we wondered if these benefits were reciprocated. It's hard to know what a dog is thinking, but – adorably – a Japanese study performed in 2020 showed that pet dogs might actually cry tears of joy when being reunited with their humans. The researchers found the dogs produce a larger volume of tears when they reunited with their owners than with acquaintances, possibly because of surging oxytocin levels. Admittedly, it just one small study, but if true, could be evidence of emotional, crying and non-human animals supporting the notion that we humans might play a positive role in our pets lives too.
[Sound effect signals return to interview]
KATIE: Not to pit cats against dogs because I don't…well, I don't know…maybe maybe our listeners do want to do that, it's always a fun argument. When it comes to the health benefits of pets, do we know if, you know, dogs are more beneficial than cats or anything> Or is it just any animal in the animal kingdom, pets generally give us these benefits?
DAWN: I think it’s what your preference is, to be honest. I mean, I've been in programs with anything from tiger cubs to pigs to miniature horses to lizards, snakes – over all these years that I've been doing this. Dogs, cats, too. We've had a live-in cat at one of the places I worked at and…
DAWN: Felix, he was very cool. And, you know, he would wander around the unit and sleep on the patients beds. This was a little bit longer term care type of facility, right? But I think it's whatever your preference and love is. I mean, if you love birds, then you're going to have a bird, right? I just think any type of animal that that you're into is what is your joy is. We have a couple of therapists that are not comfortable with dogs, but, if it's good for their patient, they'll recommend them for it and maybe a different therapist will bring them down. And I appreciate that. And I really, really, really appreciate our volunteers because you can tell they truly, truly love interacting with the patients and they really want to help. And when I tell them things that a patient has done that they've never done before, after we're done, or I'll text them and say, “Hey, you know, that patient has never walked until he walked with your with the dogs.” They don't even care which dog it was. It doesn't matter to them. It's the fact that they did that. Or this patient spoke for the first time because he saw this dog. That’s amazing.
KATIE: Yeah, that's amazing. And it kind of sounds like another benefit of pets. They're even bringing you together with your coworkers and other people, too. So that's great.
DAWN: It really is. And we'll even have some of the doctors that just happened to come by, I guess, you know, or some of the nurses that happened to come down. On Friday they know the dogs are there.
DAWN: And it's good for them, too.
KATIE: That would certainly be me. I could say that without a doubt. I mean now that I hear Fridays… [laughter]
DAWN: If I see you around here on Friday afternoon, I know what you're doing. [laugter]
KATIE: Yep. It may happen. I'm not going to say it's not going to happen.
DAWN: Well, you're welcome to come along.
KATIE: Thank you so much for being on with us today, Dawn. Really appreciate talking to you and you sharing all your knowledge with us about pets. This has been great.
DAWN: Well, thank you very much.
[Sound effect signals the end of the interview]
ZACH: So, as animal lovers, Katie, I think we both feel like we already knew the answer to this question.
ZACH: That our pets enrich our lives.
KATIE: Yeah, absolutely. It was nice to hear it confirmed, I will say. I'm going to go home and hug my pets a little tighter than usual today. I feel very fortunate to have them and to know that they do bring benefit to my life like I feel they do every day. I can't imagine myself never having a pet. And I think that's why. I don't think it's just the social companionship. I think it's it goes so much deeper. And I think Dawn kind of explain that to us for sure.
ZACH: Yeah. Because I've lived, you know, by myself in the past, like without many animals at home, when you come, it’s just quiet.
ZACH: [whispers] Quiet. Just quiet, right? And it's like, yeah, it'd be nice to have everybody come say hello to you
KATIE: Yeah. I don't know, maybe it's, I think we are just social creatures as humans. I mean, the pandemic, I think, certainly taught us that even — I'm an introvert — but I got to a point where I was like, “Man, I miss people and being around people.” And if I didn't have a pet, I know I would miss those interactions you have even more. I have my routine in the morning with my pets. Like I get up and we go downstairs and my dog is begging for food, but the cats need their morning snack. It becomes this whole routine. And I love it. It's part it gives me structure in my day. They're all adorable. They have their own quirks. My dog barks incessantly at any kind of weird, high pitched sound. So, if we use the blender, she goes crazy. I find it hilarious. Sometimes it's annoying. The cats always make me laugh. They're ridiculous. So, I know my mental health is certainly improved by them and I'm happy to hear my physical health is too.
ZACH: Yeah, well, your point there, by being an introvert, I mean, I know you were friends, so I don't see that as much as maybe otherwise. But that makes a good point that, you know, animals bring stuff out of people that might not otherwise manifest themselves. Because, as Dawn talked about, you bring a dog into to a room and somebody who hadn’t really been responsive like lights up interacting with a pet. And that's the power of these animals. And it's just great that we have this, you know, symbiotic relationship with them. And it can be used in the medical sense to truly improve someone's health in a tangible way, too.
KATIE: Yeah, it was really fascinating to hear Dawn talk about the animal assisted therapy program. And like you said, you know, people who said immediately, “Oh, I don't like dogs, I don't want to engage with this program.” Okay, that's fine. But then they see them interacting with another person and they're like, “Well, okay, yeah, actually, maybe I do. I'll try.” You just like, I think it's so hard to deny just the nonjudgmental, joyful attitude of a dog or a pet, you know, cat, whatever. I think it's undeniable. And it was so fascinating, her anecdotal stories are concrete proof just beyond, you know, we all have we have pets at home, we know they benefit us. But there are reasons to use them in the healthcare space. There are documented reasons.
ZACH: And even, you know, you mentioned structure I to take your dog on a walk. Right? Or okay got to get up to feed the cats, right? Having pets, having you know other life forms depended on you, that creates responsibility and structure, and that's the kind of stuff they can help you improve your health, right? If you're in a bad habit of sleeping in or, or whatever. And I know I have been guilty that, you know, but when you have oh, I got to get up and feed the cat because if not, the cat's going to crawl my face and meow at me and like, okay, well got to get up. Or like, oh, I know the dog's got to go out. I don't want to get off the cough right now, I don't want to I don't want to have to go on a walk today, but I got to walk the dog. So, you know, even those micro things are, you know, I mean, think about it. This is you taking care of your pet because you love your pet and you want to be a good owner. Those things help you, too.
KATIE: Yeah. I was very happy to hear everything I wanted to hear. I hope our listeners, pet lovers agree. Or people who maybe aren't huge pet lovers — if your friend has a pet, maybe try to go over and see that pet every now and then — it's going to improve your health.
ZACH: You know, Dawn talked about videos of animals and I feel like, you know, the silly cat videos is one of the big things that kicked off the YouTube era or whatever you want to call it.
KATIE: Oh yeah, getting lost in a YouTube spiral probably started with watching pet videos, for me at least.
ZACH: Look at this cat play the piano. And then there's so many, you know because it's frustrating how many random things come to your social media feed whatever app you may be using. But as long as there's an animal in it or something like, Fine, you got me. Yeah, I've subscribed to many a channel I never heard of because I saw, oh, look at this dog in this lake swimming around and he made a beaver friend or something, you know.
KATIE: Yeah, I mean, I primarily use Instagram and TikTok, and both of my feeds are essentially curated just to be pet videos and photos. And I think I didn't even mean to do that. I think that's just like where I gravitate towards because it's so cute and it makes you so happy. Like I saw one the other day of this kitten was stuck in a stream on a stone and couldn't get to the shore and this Golden Retriever goes and finds this like long stick, brings it over, literally sets it so this cat can walk across the stick to get back to the shore. And you're just like, Oh my gosh, it's so wholesome and happy. And in the sea of doom scrolling through the worst news possible, then you, you get to the adorable cat or dog or pet video and look, it lifts me out of all of that negativity for sure.
ZACH: Alright, that's gonna do it for us this time. And be sure to share, like, and subscribe On Health with Houston Methodist wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this conversation, for more topics like this, visit our blog at houstonmethodist.org/blog. Stay tuned and stay healthy.