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The Healing Power of Animals

There’s a prescription-free treatment that improves your health and makes you feel better in mind and spirit. Lucky us!! It comes in many varieties, including furry, feathery and even scaly. Research shows that pets and other animals can reduce blood pressure, loneliness and stress and increase self-esteem. Gazing at a fish tank is soothing and can lower blood pressure. Walking a dog provides exercise, and extends your social connections when you stop and chat with other dog walkers.

It is safe to say that most pet owners feel a special bond with their animal companions. They are always there to comfort you, listen to you, and console you when you are down. However, their ability to help people goes much farther than just emotional support. There are cases where pets have helped people with physical ailments such as dogs detecting cancer, seizures, low and high blood sugar levels. Animals have also been shown to help people cope with depression, and pets have improved the quality of life for people in nursing homes.

Medical reports have credited animals with other positive effects on people’s lives such as:

  • Lowering blood pressure and stress for every day people

  • Helping people cope with the loss of a loved one or other major life changes

  • Service animals like seeing-eye dogs help people live normal lives

  • Helping people cope with cancer, Alzheimer’s and AIDS

  • Higher survival rates for people with coronary heart disease

  • Better socialization of young children with peers and development of nurturing behavior

  • Improving results for anxious and depressed people

  • Therapeutic horseback riding has helped improve balance, posture, mobility, language, and muscle coordination

  • More recreational activity such as dog walking

Human relationships are complex, but your relationship with a pet is purer and simpler. When you need comfort, your pet doesn’t need the full story, he just knows you’re upset and stays near you. Dogs relate to you unconditionally.

Many animals from dogs and cats to rabbits, llamas, horses and dolphins have played a role in the healing process. Our pets help boost people’s attitudes and encourage them to live life to the fullest. Animals serve as nurturers in our busy society, giving us the attention and contact we need. Let’s not forget the true meaning of “pet” is to touch or caress.

Some of this information was gathered from Delta Society’s website, they are a national therapy animal organization. If you would like more information about dog training or on your pet becoming a certified therapy animal, please feel free to contact me. Kathy Fabish, Pet Services of Ocean Isle Beach, call/text 480.652.4900 or email or visit our website:

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