The Healing Effects of Pets
Pet owners and animal lovers the world-over have long
recognized the capability of our non-human friends to cheer
us up when we are feeling down, and conversely, the sometimes
catastrophic effect that the death of an animal can have
on an elderly owner, otherwise living alone.
The healing effects of pets have now been the subject of
many studies and this phenomenon is increasingly being documented
in a wide variety of books and
articles - some serious academic studies and many "feel good" books about people and their companion animals.
One well-known example of the realization of the potential therapeutic effects of the human-animal bond put to good use
is the British Charity "Pets As Therapy (PAT)".
PAT has been providing visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing
and care homes by volunteers accompanied by their dogs since
1983. More recently some cats have also joined the scheme
and all participating animals are friendly, temperament tested,
and checked and vaccinated before they join the scheme. More
information is available from their website: www.petsastherapy.org.
Not all dogs or cats are suitable for all people. Size, temperament, cost and sometimes even allergy considerations need to be taken into consideration when considering animal companionship.
For more about animals see our Animal News section or you could use the search bar below.