Old people who refuse to leave their homes because it means parting with much-loved pets are wiser than the social workers who set the rules. Owning a pet is good for you.
Pet-owners are more cheerful, live longer, recover from illness better, and suffer fewer heart attacks than those who do not own pets. A report published recently pointed out that the 'no-pets' rule in many nursing homes causes unnecessary distress. It quotes the case of Aileen, an 83-yearold woman suffering from arthritis, who stopped see-ing her doctor for fear her cat would be taken from her if she was moved into a nursing home.
In a study by Dr James Serpell of the University of Pennsylvania, three groups of people with similar health back-grounds were selected. The first group were given cats, the second group
dogs, and the third group were given no pets at all. Six months later, those with dogs reported only half as many health problems as those with no pets. Cat-owners also showed a benefit, although a smaller one. Perhaps this is because owning a cat does not involve taking it for healthy walks.
Dr Serpell argues that caring for pets gives people a sense of being needed. They make us feel respected, admired, and wanted. 'Our confidence, self-esteem and ultimately our physical health depends on this sense of well-being.'
So... pets are good for our emotional and physical health. Caring for a companion animal can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation in all age groups. It's well known that relaxed, happy people do not become ill as often as those who suffer from stress and depression.
Pets are Good for You written by Monique Barb for FamousWhy.com
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