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The Benefits of having a pet
In addition to medical benefits, assisting with daily activities and working with us, animals can help us emotionally, psychologically, and socially. They help us adjust to serious illness and even death. Children often turn to their pet for comfort if a friend or family member dies or leaves the family. Grieving adults who did not have a close source of human support were also found to have less depression if they had a pet. Residents in long-term care facilities were more likely to attend activity sessions when an animal was going to be present.
Pets can greatly influence how we feel about ourselves and life in general. They are teachers and healers of extraordinary talent. They can also teach us the meaning of Unconditional Love.......
Pets help us to be less anxious and feel safer. Pet owners tend to feel less afraid of being a victim of crime when walking with a dog or having a dog in the house. Our pets can help us to relax and we can then reduce everyday stress. Pets can help us relax and focus our attention away from our problems and worries. We do not even need physical contact to appreciate this. Watching fish in an aquarium swimming, or the activity of birds can be very soothing to us. Of course many of us with dogs and cats find ourselves absent-mindedly petting them, which is relaxing for both us and our pet.
To have physical contact, this ability to have something to touch and pet is very important. More and more studies show how important touch is to our physical and emotional health and well being. Pets help to lift our moods; they decrease our feelings of loneliness and isolation. They provide companionship to all generations. Certainly for residents of nursing homes this is very true, but it is also true for the staff and volunteers there as well.
Residents of nursing homes are more apt to smile, talk, reach out to other people around them and objects. They are more attentive and alert and experience a greater sense of well-being; they are less depressed if animals are present in the care facility.
With pets people feel less lonely; pets can help ease the sense of loneliness or isolation that we might feel.
It is important to have something to care for. Everyone needs to feel needed and have something to care for. Many elderly citizens or people living alone will tell you their pet gives them a reason for living.
Having a pet can help us remain more active. We may not only get more exercise from walking a dog, but we also increase our activity through feeding, grooming, and otherwise caring for our pet.
Pets provide some consistency to our lives. Caring for a pet can significantly affect our routine and gives us something to do and look forward to each day. People may come and go, but our pets are pretty much with us day in and day out!
We have more and better social interactions when pets are around us. Families surveyed before and after they acquired a pet reported feeling happier after adding a pet to their family. A study in a Veteran's Hospital showed that the residents had more verbal interactions with each when a dog was present in the room than when there was no dog present. Dogs were also shown to increase socialization among persons with Alzheimer's disease in a Special Care Unit of a nursing home.
Pets are a Blessing, and bring us a lot of happiness and joy into our lives!