Pet power!

Reading time:

Puppies, kittens, birds, bunnies, ferrets, hamsters, snakes, lizards, fish–many people enjoy having pets. Are there health benefits to being a pet owner? What are the potential downsides? That’s all for you to find out!

* First, focus. Typing pets and health into a Web browser would probably yield mainly sites about keeping pets healthy. So narrow your topic for better results. Examples: pets and allergies, pets and Alzheimer’s disease, pets and grief. Sort through the sites you find to identify the trustworthy ones. Collect information relevant to your topic.

* Next, do some primary research. Have a pet yourself? Then you may have a head start. Otherwise, find a place in your community that relates to your topic. Maybe a nursing home welcomes therapy animals, or a veterinarian can tell you about fleas spreading from pets to humans. The firsthand anecdotes you gather by talking to people aren’t a substitute for studies and statistics, but they may help interest people in your topic.

* Take what you’ve learned, and try to educate people about it. Perhaps a pet store will display your poster about how to avoid catching a disease from a pet. Or maybe your newspaper will let you write an article on service animals. Use your imagination!

START HERE: These Web resources can help.

CDC Healthy Pets Healthy People

www.cdc.gov/healthypets

HealthLink BC

www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/hfile61a.stm

Delta Society

www.deltasociety.org

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