By Ann Hohenhaus, DVM
Recently Jane Brody, veteran New York Times reporter and fellow Cornellian wrote about how living the good life can be bad for you.
In her article, she talks about how communities far from urban centers “foster obesity, poor health, social isolation, excessive stress, and depression.” I grew up in a “good” community similar in many ways to the one she describes. We had no sidewalks to mar the perfect green lawns, and no way to walk to school or the store for a loaf of bread. My siblings and I had to be driven to the movies or back to school for evening events. Built communities, like mine, were a response to the improved economic conditions in America at that time and to the poor living conditions in crowded, dirty central cities. But as we began living further from our offices and schools, our health has declined.
According to Dr. Richard J. Jackson, professor and chairman of environmental health sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was interviewed for the article, “health happens in neighborhoods, not in doctors’ offices.” One way to improve community health is to create dog-friendly neighborhoods. Neighborhoods with dog parks help promote exercise in both dogs and humans.
Research has shown walking your dog regularly helps to build a social network; the network lacking in the “good“ communities Ms. Brody described.
The Animal Medical Center believes pet health, like human health, happens in the neighborhood. Every year we invite our neighbors (and anyone else who wants to come) to attend PAW (Pet and Wellness) Day, a free community health event held at Carl Schurz Park in Manhattan.
This year, PAW Day is a community event in every sense of the word. The AMC specialist community will staff eighteen tables of pet health-related information and invites the whole family including your furry friends to attend.
Even though your cat might not want to come to Carl Schurz Park, The AMC considers your feline friend part of its community and would love to see you at its feline medicine table. Over the past few years, veterinarians have noticed cats are not receiving preventive healthcare on a regular schedule.
Stop by the feline medicine table to catch up on the latest preventive healthcare guidelines for your feline family member.