Paws and Love: A good Pair for Emotional Well-Being

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

Dogs are our best friends; they accompany us in our daily life and support us in difficult moments with just a bark or by bringing us their toy ball. However, many of us are unaware of the many of benefits that these beings bring to our emotional well-being.

However, this is true of all pets, not only of dogs. For example, according to HelpGuide,[1]  birds help older adults keep their minds alert; rabbits accompany those who want a furry animal because their hair does not cause allergies; and watching fish swim helps reduce muscle tension and stress. Pet owners suffer from depression the least, have lower blood pressure, have the lowest levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, and even those of us who have suffered a heart attack and have a pet live longer.

A study by the University of California[2]  shows that pets help older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Alzheimer’s patients who had a dog or a cat had less stress or suffered from fewer outbursts of anxiety. These patients also decreased aggressive behavior by non-verbal communication (such as a caress) to their pet. Furthermore, stress decreases in the caregivers of these patients as they can take refuge in the pets when they feel exhausted from caring for the patient.

On the other hand, let us think of the benefits that pets have for children: they provide security because they do not represent an authority figure. When parents separate, for example, pets can provide children a refuge from their sadness and anxiety. Pets can help children have better social interactions, help them to be less hyperactive, develop the mind of the child with empathy and understanding. The benefits are many.

If you feel that your emotional well-being or that of a family member could improve, consider bringing a pet into your life. You can see there are many benefits that you can obtain from doing so.




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