The Power of Companionship Are Pets Good For Emotional Support

There’s nothing like the satisfaction of returning home to a faithful friend. A pet’s unconditional devotion is capable of much more than just keeping you company. Additionally, having a pet can increase emotional support, reduce stress, strengthen the heart, and even assist kids in developing their social and emotional intelligence.
68% of American homes are thought to own a pet. However, who gains from an animal? And what kind of pet is good for your health?
To address such inquiries, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has funded research studies in collaboration with the Mars Corporation’s WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition over the last ten years.
Researchers are examining the possible advantages for various species’ physical and mental wellbeing, including fish, guinea pigs, dogs, and cats.

Potential Impact of Pets on Health

The study of interactions between humans and animals is still in the early stages. Though the results have been inconsistent, some research has indicated beneficial impacts of pets on health.

Studies have demonstrated a reduction in blood pressure and a decrease in the stress-related hormone cortisol when people interact with animals. Animals can improve your mood, lessen loneliness, and increase feelings of social support, according to other studies.
“The question of how a pet can benefit someone with a particular condition is not easily answered,” says Dr. Layla Esposito, the director of the NIH’s Human-Animal Interaction Research Program. “Is increasing physical exercise your goal? Then having a dog might be advantageous for you. Walking a dog multiple times a day will need you to engage in more physical activity.


Human-Helping Animals

Animals can provide consolation and assistance. Specialized canines used for therapy excel in this. To help patients feel less stressed and anxious, they are occasionally brought into hospitals and assisted living facilities.

There are plenty of dogs. “They know how to sit there and be loving when someone is struggling,” says Dr. Ann Berger, a researcher and physician at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. “They are constantly concentrating on the person.”
Berger provides care to patients with terminal illnesses and cancer. She imparts mindfulness to them as a way to manage their discomfort and reduce stress.

Also Read: Dog Breeds – Complete List of Dog Profiles

According to Berger, “attention, intention, compassion, and awareness are the foundations of mindfulness.” “Animals contribute all of those things to the table. People must sort of acquire it. Animals naturally perform this.

Because animals may expose people to higher levels of pathogens, researchers are looking into the safety of bringing animals into medical environments. According to Esposito, a recent study is examining the safety of bringing dogs to visit children who have cancer. After the visit, scientists will test the kids’ hands to check if the dog left behind any harmful amounts of germs.

Dogs can help in the classroom as well. According to one study, dogs can aid in the attentional concentration of kids with ADHD. Two groups of kids with ADHD diagnoses were enrolled by researchers in 12-week group therapy sessions. The first group of children spent thirty minutes a week reading to a therapy dog. The second group read aloud to dog-shaped puppets.

Children who read aloud to the real animals exhibited increased collaboration, sharing, and volunteering as well as improved social skills. They also displayed less problematic conduct.

According to Griffin, “animals can become a way of building a bridge for those social interactions.” He continues by saying that scientists are working to learn more about these impacts and potential beneficiaries.

Your animal companion may provide unexpected benefits. According to a recent study, kids with diabetes were able to better manage their condition by taking better care of fish. A group of teenagers diagnosed with type 1 diabetes were asked by researchers to feed and monitor the water levels of a pet fish twice a day. Weekly tank water changes were also part of the maintenance schedule. In addition, the kids went over their blood glucose (blood sugar) diaries with their parents.

Pets can offer a variety of health benefits, but not everyone is a good fit for an animal. According to recent research, early pet exposure may help shield young children against allergies and asthma. Pets can be beneficial to some, but they can also cause harm to those who are allergic to specific animals.

Helping Each Other

Having a pet also means taking on additional duties. Having a pet involves knowing how to feed and care for it. Research on the consequences of human-animal interactions on the person and the pet is funded by NIH/Mars.

Keep in mind that animals can experience stress and exhaustion as well. It is crucial for children to be able to identify stress indicators in their pets and to know when to avoid approaching them. Serious injury can result from animal bites.

“parents should definitely take dog bite prevention into consideration, especially for young children who don’t always know the boundaries of what’s appropriate to do with a dog.”

According to Esposito,

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