I have written before on the benefit of owning a dog for your health. I miss my poodle every day but I am still holding back from getting another one as I keep thinking of how often we just pop away for a day or a weekend now. It is difficult to make a big decision like this but it doesn’t have to be a dog. It can be a cat, a hamster, a rabbit even a fish which is something I did buy myself this year. I put a whisky barrel with plants in at the bottom of the garden and introduced four goldfish to a new home.
Every morning when I go to feed them they come right to the top and nearly take the food out of my hand. They are very easy to look after as you can buy food that you can pop into the tank that can last as long as you are away. My plan is to move them into a new fish tank indoor before the weather gets too cold but I must admit I do enjoy every second of the little bit of care they need, and my granddaughter loves to feed them when she comes over.
According to Pain New Network, having chronic pain causes significant and daily challenges that can make life miserable, leading to depression and anxiety. As many people discovered during the pandemic, adopting a pet can be therapeutic, positively enhance your life, and may even reduce pain levels.
Other types of pets (like dogs and cats) are great little companions, but during bad days, when your pain strikes, they are always nearby, providing comfort, love and affection, and stroking them has an instant relaxation effect for you both.
Pain News Network went on to say that according to Dr. Steven Richeimer, a professor of anesthesiology at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, pets help relieve chronic pain by keeping us active and making us feel less stressed.
“In my practice as a pain management specialist, I’ve heard numerous accounts of pets improving the lives of patients living with chronic pain and diminishing the depression that often accompanies it,” Richeimer wrote in Spine Universe. “There’s no doubt in my mind that having a pet — or interacting with a trained therapy dog or cat — can improve a pain patient’s quality of life. Animal companionship is a natural pain reliever, and a substantial body of research supports this theory.”
One study of fibromyalgia patients found that just 10 to 15 minutes of petting a therapy dog lowered levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Patients also reported significant improvement in their pain, mood and distress after a therapy dog visit.
As I have written there is without doubt proof that getting a pet, if you are financially and physically able to provide for one, can be beneficial to you physically and can improve your emotional state.
Another article I wrote about this was “Let Your Pet Help People in Pain“, here a link to another website which supports pets for people in pain and with disabilities, Support Dogs.