Did you know that it is true that when you spend a lot of time with your pet your mood and general health status is impacted positively?
There are therapeutic procedures that are best done through the assistance of animals (pets). Pets do not care who you are, what profession you are and your weight, they love unconditionally. They are becoming popular companion for patients.
Calming Effect and Presence
Pets are known to offer calming effects to the mood or anxiety of people with HIV- AIDS. This disease is rather depressing and takes a patient through a long treatment journey. A patient will feel better when attached to a pet at home to calm the up and down moods due to health problems. Alzheimer patients reduce their outbursts when they find solace in pets at home. The pets relieves caregivers the burden of always taking care of the patient. Most sick people prefer a cat because it is easy to manage compared to a dog. Pets calming effect helps human beings manage stress. Playing with pets or just watching them play awakens the neurotransmitters causing a calming effect on your entire body and mind. In homes where there are no children or a partner, pets’ presence brings life. It is true that people who own pets are happier and fall sick less often as opposed to those who don’t have pets. To some people pets bring calmness as a result of sense of belonging and add meaning to life.
Recovering from Stroke
Stroke may come with problems of language disorder, which affect the patient. Some dogs are trained to understand a variety of non-verbal commands and can help patients with language disorder. The patients feel relieved when the dog understands the non-verbal communication. When a dog comes close to the patient, rubbing it brings a calming effect and helps in recovering from stroke. In addition horseback riding is also good for patients recovering from stroke because it offers stretching exercises. Though the patient has to ride alongside a care giver, the exercise helps in regaining balance and confidence. Cats have a calming effect which makes the patient focus on it and forget other worrying situations.
An Assistant to Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder due to damage of a brain nerve. Patients with this disorder require constant help since their movement is disabled. Pets like dogs become useful in creating balance in patients with Parkinson’s disease. A trained dog is able to collect items on the floor, be sent to pick some, close doors and windows and turn on/off lights among others. The service dogs are able to know when the patient freezes and signals by tapping the feet/foot so that the patient can keep walking.
Assist Patients with Epilepsy
Service dogs are good caregivers for the patients with epilepsy. The seizures are known to attack the patient anytime anywhere. The dogs bark to alert the caregiver or a parent if the patient or a child has seizures in a different room. Standing or sitting of the dog next to the patient when he falls down, helps prevent injuries. Interestingly, some dogs are trained to sense and alert before the seizures begin. The patient can therefore move to a safer place.
Any form of chronic pain that requires heat to soothe can benefit from Xolo dogs which are known to produce a lot of body heat. Patients lie besides the hairless dog or hold it close to the aching body part. Some of the pain patients go through is accelerated by concentrating on it. Pets have a way of distracting patients from thinking too much on the pain and engage the mind with other activities. Petting and cuddling is a sure way of easing pain for patients with chronic and acute illnesses.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief
Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease affects the joints making them tender and uncomfortably warm after formation of rheumatoid nodules. Other symptoms are joint stiffness especially after a busy day and weight loss. It initially affects the smaller joints around your feet and hands causing the toes and fingers to be stiff. The disease can spread to the other parts of the body such as knees, wrists and elbows. Walking a dog by a patient who has rheumatoid arthritis is therapeutic. It takes away the depressing thoughts of one’s condition and also exercises the joints to prevent deforming or dislocating. These patients have abnormal body composition with fats at higher levels, to regulate and moderate this, a lot of exercises are required and pets become a close friend and exercise partner. On the other hand the dogs are very sensitive of their owner’s condition and always kind and comforting to be around with. Adequate exercises and self –esteem which a pet can help you achieve is important in treatment and management of rheumatoid arthritis.
Pets Useful in Children with ADHD
ADHD stands for attention deficient hyperactivity disorder, which is a condition that prevents a child to be still and affects her concentration. Unlike human beings, pets especially dogs will appreciate the hyperactivity of the child. Pets offer unconditional love to the child and a perfect companion too. Psychiatrists may use pets to let both the parent and the child learn some behavioral modification techniques. It is therefore advisable to get your child who has ADHD or ADD a pet. The child will learn to be responsible and practice empathy. These two skills are hard to achieve by the ADHD child. Taking the dog for a walk is enough exercise to let out the excess energy in the child. Anxiety and stress are reduced when child cuddles the pets. In addition, the pets help the ADHD child socialize easily.
Strengthening the Bones and Muscles
It is an exciting activity to walk a dog, in addition to strengthening the bones and muscles. When walking out with the dog, you receive vitamin D from the sunshine. Patients with osteoporosis should ensure the dog is not jumpy and have a short leash to avoid falling down and enable control. During your work out sessions do them with your pet, you will both benefit and enjoy the exercises. Games with your dog in the backyard make you as well as the dog, physically fit.
Helps Autism Patients
Autism is a sensory disorder especially in children, inhibiting sensing of things on their skin, smells and sounds. In children, the animals seem the best company because they give undivided attention to them. They view other children more positively and like teamwork as a result of interacting with pets. In some classrooms where we have children with autism, pets are allowed to make them relate well with each other. Pets change the environment of the classroom enhancing good relationship and integration of the children. Several studies have shown that children who interact with pets have positive improvement in management of autism. The parent needs to however consider family dynamics before choosing the type of pet to adapt for the child with autism. The child’s sensitivity is another factor to consider when choosing a pet to make sure that the choice matches the needs of the child. A child who likes being quiet will be agitates by a pet that is hyperactive. A barking dog for instance, will always scare the child. Personal safety must be of major interest since autism children do not have this sense. A trained dog will assist in making sure that the child is safe when he wanders outdoors.
Cancer Patients Care
Pets offer both companionship and comfort to cancer patients during their treatment period which can be stressful and anxiety building. Other than giving solace to the patients, pets like dogs also get prostate cancer and patients can learn more strategies of the causes and management of cancer. Chemotherapy can be a straining and depressing process n treatment of cancer, patients need a constant emotional support which in many cases is found in pets. Dogs are a good company to cancer patients especially for that moment when one needs someone who can listen and share inner most feelings, which most times cannot be done verbally. In addition to this, some dogs are used in the laboratories in testing breath and urine for cancer.
A Company During Counseling Therapy Session
An interesting story is told of a counselor who once was had a session with a couple. A dog sat in between them during the session and when the couple started arguing, the dog walked out. The counselor used this to explain that there are many people and children who get uncomfortable when the couple argues. The dog too could not withstand the argument, it had to walk away. The dog stayed calm when the discussion was sober and normal. In the presence of a pet, the client feels safe and is offered a natural distraction and allowed the clients to open up to the counselor. The pet’s presence lowers client’s anxiety and encourages participation in the therapy session. The client is able to focus on particular issue while cuddling a pet. Emotional sharing process is triggered by sharing feelings with pets during a therapy session. The pet, being a friend creates a good environment for sharing. In some cases, the client is able to draw the boundaries comparing or following what both the pet and the therapist are doing. Pets don’t care who really the client is, therefore offers unconditional love, acceptance and interacts freely.
An Alarm to Diabetes Patients
The hardest yet vital task in people with blood sugar issue is to monitor the levels. Service dogs are trained to sense the drop of blood glucose from the smell the patient produces and alerts the patient before so that he can take snack to bring the level back to normal. By so doing the emergency of taking care of the patient when he is badly of is prevented. Physical exercises done while playing or walking with your pet helps in reducing blood sugar levels. Maintenance of the right body weight is key to persons with diabetes. Activities done with the pet are not only enjoyable but also help in weight control.
There has been conflicting information regarding pets and asthma. Some argue that when pets are introduced early enough in the life of a child, allergies will be kept away. Cats are known to prevent asthma especially in children whose mothers have no cat allergies. It is however known that cats and dogs can cause asthma and it is advisable to keep them away if you notice any allergies.
Enhances Strong Immunity
Allergies are kept at bay when children grow up in homes where there are pets such as cats and dogs. Their immune system is strengthened the same way those living in homes with larger animals like horses and donkeys. It is advisable to introduce a pet to a child early enough, at the age of 6 months or earlier. Babies who grow up with pets have fewer respiratory problems and infections. It s therefore a good idea for a child to be born in a home where there are pets like dogs and cats. A research done on the same revealed that dogs that sometimes spent time outside the house causes lowest risk related to infection. It is confirmed that children who interact with pets do not catch colds and ear infections as compared to those who don’t.
There is a special interaction between pet owners when they are walking their pets or visiting a veterinarian. Many pet owners go to the pets’ park to socialize with others. People who are disabled and use a wheelchair are noticed more if they are having a dog unlike when they don’t; people give them attention asking to offer a hand in pushing the wheelchair when they see the dog. It is possible and acceptable to interact with a person walking a dog on the street that if we just meet on the same street without the dog. If you visit veterinarian, you also meet and interact with other people that you would not in life were it not for the pet.
During this season, one needs unconditional love and understanding. This seems to come naturally from pets than human beings. The dog or the cat will allow you talk for long as it listens. You as well take your time grooming your pet and walking it every day which enables you comes out of depression. Spending time with your pet and giving attention to each other has a way of working on depression. Petting your cat can cause a sense of relaxation reducing stress hormone production. Petting is two way, the pet also benefits by feeling the soothing effect from the owner.
Curbs Heart Issues
Heart problems have become prevalent especially among the elderly. It has been confirmed that owners of pets like cats and dogs live linger after a heart attack as compared to those who do not have pets. Those who are attached to their pets do not get heart related diseases such as cardiovascular attack. This precisely means that their heart rate together with body blood pressure is well regulated to avoid stressing the body system. Walking a lot with your dog causes your blood pressure to go down, preventing heart attack or failure. It is fun and motivating to work out with your pet, it challenges you to do more and be consistent n your routine.
An Encouragement in Weight Loss/Control
Pets encourage a person to exercise be it in a gym, walking on the street or playing Frisbee in the back yard. All these activities are a sure way of burning calories. As we plan on feeding the pets with balanced diet we do so to ourselves as well. Each time you follow the feeding program of the pet, you are automatically reminded of your own. Weight control gives a person self confidence and improves on self esteem. Correct body weight keeps away other weight related health problems such as heart failure due to accumulation of cholesterol.
Make You Happy
Pets have a way of lightening your mood, especially when they play; hugs you, roll on the ground, make joyful noises and patting you with their paws. Happiness is brought by increase in serotonin and dopamine levels transmitted through the nerves.
Managing pets can be an involving day to day activity and has financial implications. Don’t own a pet for purposes of taking care of your heart and other diseases. The pets need a lot of care and exercise too. They also require love and not used as mere workers. They know how to reciprocate depending on how you treat them. Ensure they eat well, given medical care and have a comfortable place to sleep. Let every family member accept the pet and show care, pets have emotional feelings too. Always introduce a stranger to the pet especially dogs so that both feel safe n each other’s presence.