We have domesticated animals since ancient times, making them extremely accustomed to human expressions, language and activities. There are numerous benefits of pet ownership including mental and physical stability.
Benefits of Pet Ownership for Children
Numerous studies have found that having a pet in the household is associated with less child anxiety. The more time the child spends physically interacting with their pet, the more he grows attached to the animal. It has been demonstrated that children that are deeply attached to their pet, show better communication skills, are highly interactive with their peers, are more physically active and outgoing.
Another study looked to observe the influence of dog therapy on children that have been hospitalized. The canine therapy included spending time with the children, doing tricks on command, being petted. 89% of the children that received canine visits had increased appetite and independence.
Even more impressive those children that had constant interactions with a dog during their hospitalization showed a clear decrease in emotional distress and physical pain after their surgery interventions and were more compliant with the medical procedures.
The dog’s company offers entertainment, distraction and pleasure for the child. It can also remind them of home and offers genuine comfort and understanding. More on the study can be found here.
Animals – the best caretakers
Animal companions, especially dogs, have been praised for their ability to detect diseases in their owners, diseases such as hypoglycemia, epilepsy and even cancer. This being one the most impressive benefits of pet ownership.
Dogs have been able to alert their owners that suffer from Diabetes of their low blood sugar level even before taking a blood test or feeling any symptoms. Dogs can also alert humans of their high blood pressure and even imminent heart attack.
Dogs can learn to pick up on internal human cues and can learn to observe changes in body language and behavior when their owner is feeling anxious or paranoid. Dogs will provide emotional support and stability to individuals suffering of psychiatric conditions.
Dogs for people with autism will help their handler deal with visual and auditory stimuli and also alert them on detrimental behavior they might be engaging in without realizing it. Dogs can remind their owner when to take their medication as well.
Benefits of pet ownership – Therapy Dogs
Therapy dogs can be used for helping patients that suffer from a wide array of diseases or disabilities. Therapy dogs can be employed to help patients with mental, educational and physical objectives.
- wheelchair skills
- fine motor skills
- balancing and standing.
- increasing social interactions between patients
- increasing attention
- developing recreation skills
- increasing self-esteem
- reducing anxiety and loneliness
- increasing vocabulary
- improving knowledge of concepts
Loving your pet every day keeps the doctor away
Fighting off Anxiety
Numerous studies show the benefits of pet ownership for those suffering of mental health issues, such as schizophrenia and dementia. Participants in studies showed a significant reduction in anxiety after receiving regular visits from a therapy animal. The participants have also been observed to have increased motivation to participate in daily activities, enhanced socialization and enhanced state of well-being.
Another large study was conducted to explore the benefits of interacting with a dog for patients that were admitted in a facility for treating chronic pain. The results showed that 26.2% of the patients showed a clear improvement in pain intensity and frequency. The patients reported that spending time with the dog provided a positive distraction, it reduced discomfort and offered them relaxation and comfort.
Pets also act as a social lubricant for their owners. Having a pet will force even the laziest of individuals to get out of the house and take a stroll through the park with their pet. Studies have shown that even shy and individuals suffering from anxiety are more likely to engage in social interactions if their pet is present. The animal will provide an approachable setting and topic for conversation. More on this research can be found here.
Promoting physical activity
Dog walking can be used to promote practical, enjoyable and accessible physical activity for individuals that do not meet the recommended levels. Owning a dog will encourage the owners to engage in walking and even more cardiac beneficial activities such as playing catch and jogging.
To support this, a study looked to analyze the amount of physical activity that a dog owner undergoes, versus non-dog owners. A total of 36,984 dog owners and 116,567 non-dog owners enlisted for this study.
The results showed that owning a dog is associated with a higher likelihood of physical activity amongst the older generation, and a lower chance of being sedentary. More on the study can be found here.
It does not matter if you’re a dog or cat person, or even if you prefer the company of rodents. The benefits of pet ownership apply to any and every animal that you love.
If you would like more details on the subject or if you have any questions, objections, hateful comments or highly deserved praises to offer please do not hesitate to leave a comment.
Also, if you have a product that you would like me to review and research, I gladly welcome the challenge.
Be The First to Read our Newest Articles