In Sickness and in Health, Animals Really Are Man's Best Friend
Pets have long been part of the American household. We've valued their companionship and their protection. But numerous studies have shown that animals help to keep us physically and emotionally healthy, help us heal, and provide life-enhancing and life-saving assistance. Pets have also been shown to foster independence, decrease loneliness and stress, and improve our mood! How is this so?
Caring for a pet can give some people a sense of being needed and being loved. It can give those who are elderly, sick, disabled or depressed a reason to live. Walking a dog can have physical and psychological benefits and provide opportunities for socializing, exercise and getting outdoors. Taking care of pets helps to take the focus off of the owner's problems and concerns. And we're not just talking dogs and cats here. It can be a hamster, bird, horse, pig or ferret. Even watching fish in an aquarium can be calming and distracting from life's challenges.
Whether you have a pet or not, spending time with animals can improve your quality of life... and your health.