If you thought that perhaps pet therapy was for the sick or those diagnosed with a medical condition, check this video out! Here is yet more evidence to suggest that spending time with pets is good for your health and well-being overall, whether or not you have an illness.
As well as promoting lowered blood pressure, pets seem to give people a heightened sense of mood and well-being, allowing them to cope better with situations which may be stressful.
If you are someone that is not able to actually own a pet (perhaps due to restrictions on rental property etc), there are some great suggestions here for how you can still get time with pets and gain the benefits of pet interaction. Here are a few ideas;
- Volunteer at an animal shelter or pet-based charity. These animals need lots of love and attention and will give it back to you!
- Offer to walk a friend’s pet once or twice a week. Bonus is the healthy exercise you will get too!
- Let your friends know that you are happy to look after their pets if they are going away. Pet owners are often looking for minders so just might appreciate the offer!
What if you have allergies to pets? There still may be animals that you will be ok around. For example, here is a list of dogs that are considered to be close to hypoallergenic. Note that these are suggestions and the only true way to check is for you to spend some time around any of these particular breeds. As vets say, there are no animals that are truly hypoallergenic, it is just that the characteristics of some make them easier for allergy sufferers to be around. Here is another list of suggestions including different species.
If you are looking for a natural way to reduce stress and improve health, spending time with pets is a great thing to try. Proponents of pet therapy often point to the unconditional affection that pets can show and the fact that spending time with a pet does not involve any expectations that may be involved with time with humans. Why not give it a try?
Have you had experience with pet therapy? Let us know about it in the comments!