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  • Writer's pictureEmpathy Therapy

Animal Companionship

Originally posted on Mental Health America. Read the full article on their website here.





Nearly 70% Of U.S. Households Own A Pet. Of Those

  • 80% believe their pets bring them happiness and emotional support;

  • 55% believe their pets reduce anxiety and depression; and

  • 66% believe their pets relieve stress.

PET-FRIENDLY WORKPLACES ARE GOOD FOR BUSINESS

Workplaces that adopt pet-friendly policies can experience benefits like:

  • Attracting more job candidates;

  • Keeping their employees longer;

  • Better employee health; and

  • Increased productivity among workers.

WHAT DOES THE SCIENCE SAY ABOUT PETS AND HEALTH?

Pet ownership can help:

  • Improve cardiovascular health and physical activity;

  • Decrease stress and lower blood pressure; and

  • Reduce loneliness, which increases risk of many chronic health conditions.

ANIMALS HELP PEOPLE WITH MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH CONDITIONS

  • In people with cancer, animal-assisted interventions (i.e. therapy, education, activities) play a role in reducing anxiety, depression and aggression during treatment.

  • For people receiving treatment for mental illnesses, animal-assisted interventions reduce anger, anxiety, depression, and general distress, while improving the ability to socialize.

  • Studies have also shown that animal interactions have the ability to help people who are critically ill by reducing stress, anxiety, and boredom; improving mood; and reducing heart rate and blood pressure.

  • For people being treated for HIV, those who own dogs show fewer symptoms of depression and are better at taking medications—likely because of the routines that come with dog ownership.

SERVICE DOGS CAN MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE


The majority of people with diabetes who own Diabetic Alert Dogs are less worried about extreme changes in insulin levels, and experience improved quality of life and the ability to participate in physical activities.

People who are hearing impaired showed long-term reductions in depression after getting a service dog.

Veterans with PTSD reported decreases in depression, social isolation, anxiety, and alcohol abuse, while also reporting improved sleep and better coping with flashbacks after being paired with service dogs.

Additionally, service dogs may help lighten the responsibilities of caregivers by assisting those with disabilities to accomplish everyday tasks and alerting to symptoms of chronic health conditions



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