There is an old saying, that a dog is a man’s best friend and that there is a magical bond between animals and humans. Animals can assist physical and emotional well being.
Pet therapy can be useful in treating patients with depression, anxiety or social phobias. Patients hospitalized with cancer have also been helped. There is an organization in England that arranges therapeutic visits to hospices and nursing homes. Dogs or cats go and visit patients. www.petsastherapy.org Animals have also been known to help children with autism by helping them relate and to express their emotions.
Also pets have helped the elderly and working patients with Alzheimer’s and with their emotions or memories. A recent study found that when people took care of a dog for just three months, it helped relive stress.
Having a pet has many benefits.
- They get you outside in to the sun and fresh air and this gives you an extra dose of vitamin D
- They get you moving by walking them, this is good exercise
- Petting can reduce stress, grooming can be comforting to your dog or cat, the warmth that is radiated can release a hormone called Oxytocin, the hormone related to stress and anxiety and can reduce blood pressure and lower cortisol levels.
Animals love you unconditionally they give you a sense of purpose by caring for your pet you are focusing on someone else which in turn triggers neurotransmitters. Smiling can raise your dopamine and serotonin levels which are nerve transmitters associated with calmness and happiness.
Animals help you if you are lonely and keep you from being socially isolated especially dogs as you get to meet people when you walk them.
So if you are feeling lonely consider getting a furry friend.
Claudette is a passionate campaigner and activist for mental health stigma and domestic abuse. She believes that everyone should be treated equally regardless of their disability or gender. She has diagnoses of Bipolar Disorder, endometriosis, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. Claudette has a certificate in Management studies. Her interests include beauty, makeup, animals politics, current affairs and social networking.