A four legged happiness

puppykitten

Cats may not have seven lives in reality, but cats and all pets have the ability to make our life seven times better. Many studies have shown that having and taking care of an animal improves our life quality. Having a pet makes us feel happier, reduces stress and motivates us to be more active. Most people have adopted an animal for company, and in turn it gave them the most genuine love.

In the past we had pets for more practical reasons, a dog for hunting, a cat to protect the home from rodents, some sheep and goats for milk, wool and meat. Today most homes have a pet either a dog or a cat, or more rare animals, like a snake or a bunny. Although it certainly sounds strange, every pet in every type it belongs has therapeutic effect on stress and more. Even fish have benefits for our health, as looking an aquarium in a dentist’s waiting room took down 30% of patients anxiety, according to a survey done in Switzerland.

Nowadays Pet Therapy is used by many medical fields for its spectacular results. The first documents proving that animals were used as therapists are from England at the beginning of 19th century. A big study by an australian university showed that having a pet reduces stress, blood pressure, lowers cholesterol as well as the frequency of cardiovascular diseases regardless people’s dietary habits. Pet owners go 15% less to the doctor, have faster recovery and 70% of them said that they never feel alone. Also dog owners have 55 minutes more physical activity per week than people without dogs.

In modern world many clinics for the elderly or for children with special needs have included in their therapeutic programs, domestic animals. Children who grow up with animals at home are more balanced, more confident and have less allergies. They are familiar with taking responsibilities, they are more concentrated, better at understanding the signs of nonverbal communication and they have stronger immume system. On the other hand, older people with pets seem to enjoy life more, feel less pain, find their lost energy, not getting sick often and feel healthier and happier. On nursing homes in Europe and America ,is common for older people to have a pet, a cat usually or a guinea pig. Also in America, usually labrador dogs are trained to make company to autistic kids, having very positive results.

We can mention many remedies that animals have a dominant role as therapeutic riding, dogs for people with disabilities and more. Also an innovative project in USA is «Project Pooch», a pilot program through which juvenile offenders adopt puppies after leaving prison. So far 97% of children who participated in the program have successfully reintegrated into society and haven’t shown other deliquent behavior.

Choosing the right pet is a matter of taste, style and the time we have for it. But from a dog up to an iguana, relationship between man and animal is always constructive. From the beginning that a man has an animal he becomes responsible for its diet, health, care and certainly the animal will reward him with unconditional faith. The genuine concern of an animal, the companionship, the acceptance, the love without criticism, classifies it to the best and most loyal friend of the man.

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.

Martin Buber

The Key to Thought – www.tokleidi.com

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