Have you ever thought about the significance of pets in your life? Who makes you burst out laughing when you feel down? Be it a kitty or puppy, it’s important that we truly appreciate what our pets do for us, even when they get a bit naughty at times.
About 71 million of American households own some kind of a pet. It’s been long proven that pets contribute to well-being and mood upbringing of humans. In a study by Kathie Cole, a nurse at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and her collaborators showed that when volunteers accompanied by dogs visited the heart failure inpatients, the anxiety level of those patients fell by 24%. On the other hand the anxiety level of those patients that had a person come in without a dog, decreased only by 10%. According to Doctor Karen Allen Shykoff, a professor at the State University of New York in Buffalo “Having a dog in the room lowers blood pressure better than taking a popular type of blood pressure medication (ACE inhibitor) when you are under stress.”
Pet therapy works on elderly, children, and essentially people of any age. Numerous programs have been developed throughout the years such as Pet for Vet, Silver Paws, Animal-Assisted Therapy and etc. to aid people with stress and depression. For instance in the Silver Paws program, cats or dogs are adopted by senior citizens and then the seniors participate in adoption orientations and trainings with other adoptees. All the costs related to animal care are provided by the organization. This way the seniors get to socialize and take care of their pets. This is very important for elderly since a lot of times they get lonely and need someone or something to care for and feel needed in order to function. As stated by Rebecca Johnson, a nurse that heads the Research Center for Human/Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, animals-human daily interaction develops a hormone called Oxytocin that “"…has some powerful effects for us in the body's ability to be in a state of readiness to heal, and also to grow new cells, so it predisposes us to an environment in our own bodies where we can be healthier."
Now take a look at your purring, furry-nugget or mischievous, barking puppy and start appreciating the true love they give to you.