Pets known to provide significant health, life benefits

The solution to many common health problems may not be found in a pill box or a doctor’s office.

People typically resort to medication or therapy for all kinds of conditions, but these methods are often expensive or have negative side-effects.

Animal companionship and interaction has become a favorable alternative to traditional medical treatment, and there are countless examples of why it has such significant psychological benefits.

I have witnessed first-hand the positive impact animals have on mental health and well-being from my own experiences as well as others’.


Animals are stress soothers

Research shows that the simple act of petting a dog can lower human blood pressure, relieve anxiety and deepen respiration.

One article published in 2012 concluded these theories after reviewing 69 original studies focused on human-animal socialization.

Interacting with friendly animals helps release the hormone oxytocin, which helps with social bonding and reduces stress.

Over the past decade, it has become quite common for people who have higher levels of stress and anxiety to adopt “emotional support pets,” usually dogs, which have recently been allowed by many institutions to be present at all times.


Good for child rearing

A number of scientific studies have emphasized that children can benefit from time spent with animals.

Whether a child is exposed to animals at home or in a classroom, they become oriented with learning new skills such as how to be more responsible.

Animal companionship among children also benefits social and emotional development.

Research has found that animal companionship strongly impacts children with autism and behavior problems through improving social skills and creating bonds.


Pets provide physical protection

Animals, especially dogs and cats, offer a sense of safety to owners both in and outside the home.

Service dogs are a great source of protection for people with disabilities such as blindness, diabetes, epilepsy, etc., as their ability to detect medical emergencies is simply remarkable.

Military Working Dogs are also famous for their acts of heroism in war zones and saving the lives of their handlers due to their extreme intelligence and loyalty.


Offer companionship to the elderly

The presence of animals and interaction between them and elderly individuals generates positive changes in mood and well-being.

There are many organizations that seek out volunteers to take their pets to visit elderly patients in hospitals and nursing homes.

The institutions that host the visiting animals see significant improvements in their patients’ health, such as being more alert, less lonely, smiling more and reducing stress.


Great for inmate therapy

Studies have tested the influence of animals on behavior in prisons and mental institutions, and the results have been astonishing.

The Lima State Hospital for the Criminally Insane conducted a pet therapy program where inmates interacted with birds, guinea pigs and even rescued deer.

The program examined the inmates who had depression and mental illnesses and discovered a remarkable decrease in violence, suicidal behaviors and even a reduction in medication.

by Emily Thistle

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