THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF PETS

 

What does the term “pets” mean and why are they important to people? 

Pets are animals that live with humans in the house or yard, as opposed to animals in the wild, in laboratories, animals in the service of the police, the army, or some other jobs. 

To begin with, it is important to emphasize the difference between pets and animals kept as pets. 

For example, many homes in India have gray mongooses as pets, which kill cobras, rats, and other vermin. Some stories tell us about parrots that woke up their owners in the middle of the night to warn them of fires. Other animal species are kept in the house or yard as well, such as birds, reptiles, fish, hamsters, etc. The fact that many dates of the year are dedicated to them speaks of the importance of all pets for people, such as World Pet Day on November 30th, Pet Theft Awareness Day, on the 14th of February, but also World Stray Animals Day, on April 4th. The aim of establishing these dates is similar and promotes the improvement of the status of animals to improve the standards of their welfare on a global level. 

However, the only animals that have chosen to live with humans are the dog and the cat

Ever since World Animal Day was first celebrated in 1925 in Berlin, people have begun to better understand how they and other creatures interact. In this regard, there is a lot of scientific evidence that confirms the health benefits of living side by side with pets. 

A pet, whether it is a dog or a cat, can have a therapeutic effect on human health

Previous studies have shown that pet owners are much less likely to suffer from depression, they have lower blood pressure because playing with pets increases the level of serotonin and dopamine, which has a relaxing and calming effect, they have lower levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, older than 65 visit doctors less often. In addition, it was found that emotional intelligence is at a higher level in people who have a pet than in those who do not have one. Walking with the dog increases energy and strengthens the immune system. With the vibrations it produces while purring, the cat soothes the owner. 

When it comes to everyday stress and mental stability, pets can help us feel useful and thus have more self-confidence just by taking care of them. They sense our mood and when we are sad or in pain, they come to sit next to us. By connecting and socializing with other owners, we create new acquaintances and friendships

Here you can join the PTA community of pet owners and communicate through the group and by registering at the link you will be up to date with all interesting news and benefits from the pet-friendly world. 

We connect with pets on an emotional level, but the interaction takes place on all levels simultaneously. 

Employees who bring their dog to work are less susceptible to stress and love their work more, simply because the presence of a pet in the office makes them happy. Here you can read more about the advantages of pet-friendly offices.

 

Children and pets 

The importance of pets in children’s lives is most obvious in the following: pets strengthen the immune system of children and they are far less likely to suffer from various types of allergies and asthma. Coughs, sneezes, and ear infections are more common in children without pets. At the same time, children are taught responsibility, compassion, and empathy, they are calmer and more stable than others who do not have pets, through playing with pets they develop imagination and curiosity. A dog or a cat helps children not to be afraid when their parents are not at home. If a child tries to teach his pet a trick and succeeds, it can help the child understand what perseverance and persistence are. 

Children with autism and other learning disabilities can interact better with animals than with people. Autistic children often rely on non-verbal communication, as well as pets, and introducing such a child first to a dog or cat can greatly enhance later interactions with people. 

Spending too much time alone is not natural for humans, and isolation can take a toll emotionally. Due to the coronavirus, the positive impact of keeping pets during depression or anxiety states was obvious and many people living alone, under quarantines and lockdowns managed to get through easier thanks to the company of a dog or cat. Some spent their time doing obedience exercises, some making toys or climbing frames, but the essence is the same – the owners used their free time to strengthen their relationship with their pets and feel better themselves. 

 Here you can read how to teach a puppy basic commands.

One of the main reasons for such therapeutic effects is that a pet provides the basic human need for touch. It was found that even those convicted of the most serious crimes showed positive changes for the better after interacting with the animal. Petting, holding, scratching, and hugging a pet can significantly relax and comfort us in stressful situations. 

In the end, the key answer to the question of why you should have a pet is not only in fun, play, and relaxation but in the fact that in their company, by learning empathy, we become better ourselves. 

People who have a pet are generally happier, more independent, and more confident, but it is very important to know how to choose one that will fully fit into the habits of the future owner, which we will write about in the next blogs. 

You will find more about responsible ownership here.

PTA certification through promoting education and the culture of keeping pets aims to inform owners, mainly dogs’, about responsible ownership and the importance of socialization, as well as to educate the wider social community about a humane attitude towards them, to eradicate outdated cynophobic thinking. By raising the level of awareness and education on this topic, we can create circumstances in which animals are always recognized as sentient beings whose well-being is constantly taken care of.

Author: Marina Stancevic

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