Many pet owners know that having a pet around the house has many advantages – particularly if you live alone. The presence of a cat or even a canary can offer almost as much peace of mind as the presence of another person.
‘People who have formed bonds with their pets love their animals and receive love in return; that enriches their lives,’ says Eugénie Chopin of Tellington TTouch, who works with people and their pets almost daily. She believes the companionship of animals has physical and emotional benefits.
For A Healthy Heart
Most of us know that wonderfully warm feeling that swells your heart when the cat comes and settles in your lap… and starts purring. But did you know that Kitty (and Fido and Peter the rabbit) not only warms your heart, but eases it too? Research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania indicates that a human being’s blood pressure drops when in contact with an animal. And the effect is near instantaneous. Those walks with Fido aren’t without benefit either – owners who walk their dogs regularly also get some essential exercise themselves.
For A Happy Heart
Animals, such as cats and dogs, are good company and, like the best of friends, are always there for you – even if they can’t talk back. ‘Many people have told me how their pets helped them through difficult times, whether it was a divorce or a death in the family,’ Eugénie points out.
This therapeutic effect is what makes animals so valuable in certain forms of rehabilitation and treatment. In a magazine article titled ‘How your pet helps your health: cuddling with Kitty or playing with Fido can help lower your risk of disease’, author Nancy Monson says pets have a calming effect on both young children and old people.
Even something as simple as a fish tank in a doctor’s waiting room can calm patients. The near-hypnotic effect fish have on people helps them forget the causes of their tension.
Eugénie says whether it’s emotional or physical, pets have a great effect on people when they have a good relationship; they become good friends.
The constant companionship pets give helps people through hard times.