I have four cats. They are like my kids. I wake up every morning and go find each one and kiss them, after of course I kiss my husband! I grew up with dogs, and went through pets that taught responsibility, these were the guinea pigs, rabbits, and fish. Although keeping a fish alive is actually very difficult. My sister's goldfish lived until it was 12 years old. This is not a typo!
The reason I wanted to write this blog, because it really touches on something important, unconditional love. Unlike humans, pets love us regardless of our mood, and can provide a companionship without judgment, creating an environment of empathy, joy, and increase endorphins during interaction! What is better than a lick, or a purr to start and end your day?
Can those with psychiatric disabilities benefit from animal companionship, yes! Animals have been proven to provide stress relief and therapeutic. In additional to being so cute and cuddly, pet's sense when an owner is sad, upset, scared, in pain or generally not feeling well. Pets love us regardless of the mood we are in and can help pull us out of depression, and back to more of a grounded state. Some sources have stated that rates of suicide decrease in bipolar individuals who have animals to care for because they do not want to leave them behind. Additionally pets have shown to be able to predict when their owner is going to have a seizure, even before it happens!
The most common type of pet is dogs and cats. However, other animals such as birds, rabbits or even horses, guinea pigs, etc. have shown to be therapeutic as well. When choosing a pet it is also important to weigh the pros and cons. These can include the upkeep and cost of owning a pet, and the amount of time to invest. For example, walking a dog, cleaning litter, and potty training a puppy. In addition, dogs tend to be noisier with barking, and cats tend to be on the quieter side. Since sleep is so important, evaluate this factor as well.
Lastly, I would like to thank the rescue league Fancy Cats that I have adopted all 4 of my cats from, without them, the unconditional and therapeutic role I have been discussing with you would not be possible.
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