A Pet is a Good Thing

long-haired chihuahua

long-haired chihuahua

Any one who has ever truly loved a pet knows how much the cat or dog enhanced their life or perhaps impacted the family as a whole. Many studies and surveys formal and informal have been conducted about how owning a pet is beneficial mentally and physically. 

Many of these studies and surveys determined that a pet is good for children and older individuals.  Some of the amazing discoveries of owning or interacting with a cat or a dog have proven a pet can exert positive effects on children with autism and older people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.  Sometimes a cat or dog is the one thing that motivates these individuals to smile or speak a few words. A pet enables people to come out of their shell so to speak. An animal accepts a person as they are, not who they are. And that is the greatest gift that a person can receive from a pet.

Petting or stroking a warm furry animal has proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. A furry pet provides a sense of calm and an overall good feeling. Researchers determined that approximately 30,000 lives are saved each year because owning or interacting with a pet increases the survival rate of heart attack victims.

The survey findings concluded that taking care of a pet gives a person something to nurture and in turn provides one with the feeling of being needed and wanted which in turn decreases feelings of loneliness and isolation. A dog or cat also provides the owner with an increased sense of security. In addition a pet provides companionship, affection, as well as entertainment.

Researchers noted that a pet lowers pulse rate and blood pressure, decreases depression, increases activity, provides opportunities for socialization, helps an individual cope with the loss of a loved one, and increases the desire to take an interest in personal hygiene. In addition a dog as noted previously is a good alert or alarm system when someone or a stranger is at the door.

Many care facilities now have a cat that is allowed to move freely among the residents. Some care homes have visiting therapy cats or dogs which have proven to be a hit with most residents although there are some people who simply have no desire to interact with a furry creature and of course no one will ever force that person to interact with a pet.  And some care facilities enable residents the privilege of bringing their pet from home or maybe obtain a cat or dog to aid in reducing loneliness and a sense of loss that every resident must feel when they had to leave their home. It enables a person to feel a sense of continuity when their pet is able to accompany them to their new home. 

Therapy animals must be certified by an orginazation that insures the animal/s meet strict criteria. The cat or dog is tested in different areas to assure the animal will be comfortable in the setting of a school, hospital, or care facility. These pets and their owners display a great deal of warmth and happiness. Some pet therapy owners have said that their pet is really happy that  “they have a job to do” when visiting a facility.

Overall pet therapy is viewed as a good thing for just about anyone that is fortunate enough to interact with or own a pet. Residents that have a pet in their care are the lucky ones. Many studies have concluded that love for another being is the most important health tonic and having a pet in your life can be the best source of love. A pet doesn’t care what a person looks like or what their station in life might be. A pet merely accepts an individual for who they are and quite often is the one constant being in a person’s life.

Post and photo: Yvonne

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9 thoughts on “A Pet is a Good Thing

  1. chatou11 says:

    So cute the long-haired chihuahua and I agree with you, pets are good for us mentally and phisically as we have to go for a a walk every day. I lost two of my dogs in one year time and I don’t know how I will do without the small one left..
    Thanks Yvonne for this nice post

    • I am so sorry that you lost two dogs within a year. That must have been really difficult for you. I’m glad that you still have one that keeps you company. Losing a pet is such heartache. I’ve had dogs, my entire life and only was without a dog when I was away at school. My dogs are my company and solace. Even though thye are additional work and sometimes irrate me- (they want out in the fenced backyard at 5:30am most mornings) I still would not be without my dogs. I think they give one far more than we give to them. Mine are great watch dogs which is really important bonus for me.

      Thanks for commenting and I’m glad that you liked this post.

  2. Sybil says:

    I’m with you. Life without a pet is just not the same …

  3. I would love to train my Moo-moo to be a therapy dog.

    • I think that Moo Moo is jsut the kind of dog that would make a fine therapy dog. E. Springer’s are usually wonderful dogs. Will write about ours from manhy years past someday. He was wonderful.

  4. exiledprospero says:

    Of course you know that I agree with you. Ariel is resting at my feet right now, and I can’t think of a better feeling.

    • Prospero you are so correct. A dog at your feet or lying across your shoes or feet is so comforting. I don’t know why but is makes one feel relaxed and very comfortable. People who don’t have pets have no idea what they are missing.

  5. TexWisGirl says:

    i hope to never live in a petless household. đŸ™‚

    • Theresa, I agree with you. I hope that when I die it will be suddenly so that I don’t have to go to a nursing home. I would not want to live if I could not have at least one dog and one cat. I think your animals are wonderful company for you as they are for me. I feel odd if I am not surrounded by several cats or one or two dogs at my feet while I sit at the kitchen table and work in the computer. I don’t watch TV anymore for I had to save money and because there was nothing on that was worth watching. (in my opinion which doesn’t mean much)

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