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Pets As Therapeutic Friends

23 April, 2018

therapy
, stress relief

Those who have had pets at home will always swear by their pets, for the joy, the emotional connect, and the unquestioned love that they get from their pets. That is not all; research suggests that pets also have an excellent de-stressing effect on the people. So, if you have a dog or a cat, who would receive you at the end of a long, hard day, you will suddenly find that all the stress of the day has melted away. It is said that time spent with the pets can actually have a positive impact on the brain and thus on the overall health of the person. This can especially be beneficial for seniors; more so, if you are staying alone. The pets become your family.

The impact of pets on people and their improved moods and overall health is such that, pet therapy is something which is hugely popular, especially in the Western countries. Pets are used therapeutically to assist older people to recover from depression, disabilities or even chronic illnesses. Even in India, pet therapy has taken off, with many people offering the services as well as many people gladly taking up the services. At the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, trained dogs are being used to calm down the passengers who have a fear of flying.

Benefits for seniors

So, while those who have had pets at home, may not need to be told about what benefits pets can provide, here is a list to prod others to either pick up a pet or try a hand at pet therapy. If you do not want to keep a pet at home, there are now service providers, who can get the trained pets, to your home for a while.

Overall quality of life improves for seniors, with the help of pets, as they help reduce stress and this can help keep the blood pressure under control. Bonding with an animal can help a lot in relieving anxiety and alleviating depression or keeping it at bay. Pets are said to provide overall emotional stability to seniors that can help them maintain good health.

Keeping pets at home also helps keep you mentally and physically fit. This is because you have to take care of their needs like feeding, bath etc. and take them out for walking, in the case of dogs, especially. Also, especially, if you are staying alone, pets can give a sense of purpose to your life with extreme satisfaction of the company. Apart from this, pets like dogs can also add to the safety factor of seniors living alone.

Considerations

 While the benefits of pets speak for themselves, it is always better to give it serious thought, if you are thinking of having a pet. A pet is a commitment and needs your time and attention. It needs to be fed and bathed and walked and taken care of, just like we do our kids. Also, you need to work around how to manage them, if you are traveling. There are, of course, places that take in your pets and keep them and take care of them, when you are away.

If you are highly immobile, or are allergic to pet hair, then pets may not be for you. Also, the place where you live may also have some consideration for the pets you can take in. If you are staying in a small apartment, then you need to seriously consider, if you can also afford to keep a pet in there. Pets, especially the bigger dogs, need space. They are usually bundles of energy, while the cats may happily cuddle up on your sofa. Check out all options and give it serious thought before deciding to have a pet. The other option is to use the pet therapy or services that are now available in most cities in India.

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