Whether its social, business, or personal, animals play an extremely important role in the lives of humans. Humans have been using animals to survive since before 100 BC. Animals have been protectors, companions, benefactors, co-workers, and even best friends. Humans need animals in their lives to stay healthy mentally and even physically. Animals are used in everyday physical therapy to increase movement in the handicapped or elderly. Animals help with physical fitness which will boost their moods substantially. For example, elderly people that are in nursing homes have been able to work with animals as a type of therapy to improve and maintain their function and to increase their quality of life while in the nursing home. It is a proven fact that animals lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and keep their heart in check. Dogs can detect the sudden drop in the level of blood glucose and alert the owner to eat or take their medication. Pets can not only help handicapped and the elderly, but children as well. Children who grow up with pets have less risk of allergies and asthma; many also learn responsibility, compassion, and empathy from having pets.
Pets are natural mood enhancers. One of the reasons for these therapeutic effects is that most pets fulfill the basic human need to touch. Even hardened criminals in prison have shown long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with pets, many of them experiencing mutual affection for the first time. Some state prisons will bring in dogs for the inmates to train, so they can learn to interact with others and to give them a purpose. While a person is with an animal their body actually goes through physical changes that make a difference in their mood. The hormone that is associated with stress is actually lowered, while the production of serotonin is being increased from the level it was previously at when the person wasn’t around the animal. Sometimes, while working with a patient, a counselor might use a dog in therapy. In doing so, it will raise their serotonin level and allow the patient to be more comfortable.
Therapists have recently started prescribing pets as a way of dealing with and recovering from depression and anxiety. The unconditional love that is given from a pet to a human when petting it or playing with it, actually elevates their moods to a state where they are no longer depressed or anxious. Stroking, holding, cuddling, or otherwise touching a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothes humans when they’re stressed. The companionship of a pet can also ease loneliness, and some pets are a great stimulus for healthy exercise, which can substantially boost mood. The more that people interact with animals the less likely they will isolate themselves; pet lovers and pet owners can easily talk to each other about their pets without talking about uncomfortable subjects. Dogs help with people who are suffering PTSD.
Dog can provide a sense of security, calming effects, and physical exercise that can make a positive difference in the life of those that suffer with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Like all assistance dogs, a psychiatric service dog is individually trained to do work or perform tasks that mitigate their handler’s disability. The dog will be able to calm the owner and teach him/her not to be afraid. It will be able to bond with its owner when he/she cannot bond with other humans.
People with PTSD are afraid to be alone in public and the company of a dog will ease that fear. Animals have been used to assisted humans for as long as anyone can remember. They help psychologically with the world around them. They help with physical condition that’s going on with their body. Humans can bond easily with an animal more so than another human being. Whether it’s from a problem they are born with or something that stumbled upon them, they can always rely on animals to ease their pain.
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