Pets & Health

Pets & Health

Pets Keep You Healthy

聽 The numerous benefits of pets are becoming widely documented. The therapeutic use of pets has gained increasing attention in recent years.

聽 Having a pet at home has been found to give a higher boost to the survival rate than having a spouse or friends.

聽 Heart attack victims who have pets live longer. Only 6 percent of patients who owned pets died within one year compared with 28 percent of those who did not own pets.

聽 Many cancer patients with pets have been shown to live longer because they felt that their pets needed them.

聽 Dogs are being used in hospitals to aid recovery, aged care facilities and nursing homes to provide connection, comfort, good cheer and joy, and in schools to help students with behavioural problems master empathy and concentration skills and in turn enhance learning. Dogs are also responsible for blood pressure decreases in humans, and dog owners have been shown to have enhanced social interaction.

聽 Research shows that pet ownership can reduce stress symptoms, and that petting a dog lowers blood pressure. Bringing a pet into a nursing home or hospital can boost peoples' moods and enhance their social interaction and add years to life.

聽 To achieve the therapeutic benefit, it does not seem to matter what the pet is.

聽 Pet ownership may affect people physiologically through the soothing and relaxing effect of touch. And speechless communication with a pet, or simply watching a cat or even a fish swimming in a tank, can produce a relaxation response with little demand on the patient.

聽 Pet owners often feel needed and responsible.

聽 Stroking a dog can be an antidote to a foul mood or a frazzling day.

聽 Pets such as dogs and cats provide unconditional, nonjudgmental love and affection. And pets can shift our narrow focus beyond ourselves, helping us to feel connected to a larger world.

For further information on strategies to improve your wellbeing, you can contact Flourish Health Services on 02 4578 3384. Email: contactus@flourishhealth.com.au