What Has Your Pet Done for You Lately? You Might Be Surprised

Man’s Best Friend Indeed

Animals have played important and beneficial roles in the lives of humans probably since the dawn of time. Oxen pull things. Cows give milk. Dogs protect sheep flocks. Horses were our main transportation for centuries. Most animals are built for specific jobs, and they do them well. Over time, we’ve made domestic pets of certain animal species, and this has further benefited us in many ways.

Service Animals

The world’s first guide-dog-for-the-blind school opened in Germany in 1916. In 1982, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People launched in the U.K., followed six years later by Dogs for the Disabled. Today, service dogs and a few other animal types work to assist people with:

  • Mobility challenges
  • Seizures
  • Diabetes
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Hearing and sight impairments

Living with a pet you love may positively affect blood pressure, heart disease, cholesterol issues, diabetic symptoms and more.

Therapy Dogs

Where service animals have specific abilities and jobs to do, therapy dogs work their magic simply by being there. These animals live with their owners and serve by visiting people in nursing homes, hospitals, schools, libraries, group homes, penal institutions and more. Any place a smile is needed, therapy dogs are ready to go to work.

The Elderly and Their Pets

Many older people face some degree of isolation and loneliness. Dogs, cats and other types of pets can help combat these feelings. In caring for a pet, an elderly individual finds a true friend to bond with and include in daily activities.

What Kids Learn From Pets

When children care for pets, they learn to take the focus off themselves and put it on something else that needs their attention. Tasked with feeding, bathing and walking their pets, young people develop a sense of responsibility that will stay with them into adulthood. Perhaps best of all, children with beloved pets have friends who are always there, are always excited to see them and always accept them for who they are.

How Pets Make You Feel Good

While some debate surrounds the topic of how caring for pets can improve our physical health, many medical researchers believe that living with a pet you love may positively affect blood pressure, heart disease, cholesterol issues, diabetic symptoms and more.

Where mental health is concerned, the evidence is more conclusive. Most every psychological therapy aims to help the patient feel better. This outcome in itself can lead a person to breakthroughs in areas he or she is struggling with. If you’ve ever bonded with pets, you know how easy it is for them to make you feel good. Here are six ways our furry friends may benefit us:

If you don’t have a pet, maybe you should think about getting one. In deciding what the ideal pet for you would be, consider the many rescue organizations that care for everything from penguins and goats to virtually every type of dog and cat. Check out YouTube videos and websites for rescue groups that may have the exact pet you’re looking for. You’ll be doing you and your new friend a big favor.

When you get your pet, or if you already have one, take a minute to marvel at all the benefits it brings you. This will lead you to a state of appreciation which is yet another way our pets benefit us.

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