One Health is an approach that recognizes that the health of people, animals ,and our shared environment are closely interconnected, and that the health of each part is dependent on the health of the others.
For example, when a pet parent cannot secure the services they need for their pet, the pet may become ill. A pet’s illness or loss will then affect the rest of the family financially, emotionally, and possibly even physically since some diseases can be passed from pets to human family members. A sick pet may also contaminate the environment, putting wildlife at risk of illness as well.
On the other hand, a healthy pet can improve the health of human family members and our environment. According to the CDC, pets “increase opportunities to exercise, get outside, and socialize. Regular walking or playing with pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship.”
We know that our life situations have profound effects on our pets. When a pet parent is food- or housing-insecure, the pet may be at risk of poor nutrition, surrender, or abandonment. This in turn places additional strain on both the human family and the community at-large (especially our animal shelters). Talking to pet parents about their needs and life challenges allows us to intervene early and help keep Whole Families together before a crisis develops!
Our new Whole Families Program will provide the support of PFA’s Social Worker to families in need to help them resolve the issues in their life that may lead to surrender or poor health in their pet.