numerous studies demonstrated how pets positively affect human health and well-being. Scientific research has classified these effects in four specific areas: therapeutic, physiological, psychological and psychosocial.
– Therapeutic Benefits –
As a therapeutic resource, animals can be incorporated into treatments such as motivation-assisted therapy, physical therapy, or animal-assisted psychological therapy.
- In the case of children and adolescents It focuses on the emotional rather than the physical aspects, as the companionship of animals increases empathy and positive emotions.
- It is commonly used for: disabled people sensory, mental, behavioral disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome, learning disability, childhood autism and in the anxious-depressive area.
- sick cranyonenico: It improves routines, helps forget pain or illness, and reduces feelings of loneliness. These patients talk to the animal and describe how they are feeling, and this relieves their anxiety. They motivate rehabilitation and encourage patients to look forward to the animals’ return.
- Sanity: Suicide and hospital stays are reduced in adults with depression. In mental retardation, intelligible verbal dictionary increases, non-verbal language is more and motivation increases. An important aspect is the satisfaction of being touched and the need for touch in institutionalized patients.
- Physical disability: Animals significantly increase the mobility of people with reduced mobility or in a wheelchair. Blind or visually impaired people are helped by animals, thereby increasing their autonomy.
- Prisons: Coexistence is complicated by deprivation of freedom, monotony, learning deficits and deficiencies, and poor social skills. It helps to improve their self-esteem, generates positive emotions, supports interpersonal communication and improves the environment.
- Housing for the elderly: This is where the use of animal-assisted therapies is most widespread. Many elderly people enter housing because of their physical and mental limitations and loneliness. Because this environment is imposed by the center they are in, it leads to loss of control of their lives, isolation, loss of interest and depression.
– Physiological benefits –
Pet ownership is a protective factor for cardiovascular disease, they can change several risk factors: blood pressure drops, heart rate drops, endorphins are released when pets make love, and therefore cortisol is lowered.
In patients with coronary risk factors such as diabetes mellitus, obesity or lipid metabolism disorders, as well as those with known heart disease, having a dog can encourage physical activity (walks, walks, jogs) and consequently body weight loss, reduction in lipid levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) and stimulation of glucose metabolism.
In a study conducted by Lynch (2006) on cardiac patients discharged from intensive care, it was determined that the most effective factor in the survival and recovery of patients was the severity of myocardial damage, followed by pet ownership. The mortality rate in the first year of recovery was four times higher in patients without animals.
– Psychological benefits –
Pets help reduce thanks to the company they provide to us The increase in the sense of loneliness and intimacy leads people to seek to protect life. In situations of depression or anxiety, grief and social isolation, pets become an unconditional companion, increasing self-esteem and sense of responsibility, which necessarily leads to better integration into society.. Pets help children develop a sense of attachment.
Pet owners rarely or never felt lonely, found it easy to make new friends, and consulted more people than people who didn’t have a pet in an event or crisis.
Owning a pet helps reduce anxiety, stress, depression and significantly improves self-esteem and mood..
Pets are so influential in community life that The antidote to human anonymity in the public places of today’s society, thus promoting interaction between unknown people. Owning a pet makes it easier for you to socialize, build interpersonal bonds of trust, and participate more in community activities with your pet, owning parks and other recreational areas. Neighbors often request favors revolving around the pet and high bond of trust, solidarity and gratitude between them. This allows it to go beyond owner-pet relationship. A sense of reciprocity is one of the pillars of a community and a catalyst that drives pets, owners and other members towards it.
Finally, coexistence between humans and animals has existed since ancient times, so an important relationship has been established between both parties. In today’s world, living with pets has been shown to provide a variety of benefits, including both individual and societal well-being.