The benefits a pet can have on your overall health while living with a chronic illness:
When you are little you always hear ” having a pet is a lot of work” this is a true statement. It is a lot of work. However , Having a furry friend can also many benefits to your mental and physical health.
**by writing this entry i am not telling you to go run out and acquire a countless amount of dogs and cats , I am simply letting you know the proven/thought benefits a pet could actually have on you.**
I myself own two dogs:
They are all great , even though they can be a pain at times , and are indeed a lot of work to take care of/keep out of trouble.
There can be significant health benefits to having pets “in this entry i am mainly focusing on dogs and cats”.
All pets are natural mood enhancers , Just being around your pet allows you to become less stressed and have less anxiety , check out this great video I found on YouTube that show just that:
Wasn’t that awesome!? Kittens a stress reliever!? who would’ve thought!?
Now , how can a dog or cat really improve you mental and physical health? well here are the 5 main facts I have found through my research. I will share links to the sites of which i have found and/or confirmed these facts.
1- They are a stress relievers! As we saw in the video above, Just petting your fury friend can lower stress hormones and amazing lower your blood pressure!
2-Helps loneliness /the feeling of isolation! Everyone knows a pets love for you is unconditionally. They want to be with you always , they don’t care weather you are all dressed up and ready to hit the run way or if you look like you have been hit by a train or haven’t showered in days! With IBD we all have those times where it is just not in the cards to look presentable , those times where you would rather sit in bed looking like hell then put in the immense effort of trying to stand up to get clean and ready , those times where you are spending more time in the bathroom then you are any where else. They don’t mind! they will sit in there with you “no matter what it smells like 😉 “. They give you a reason to go out , you don’t have to go walk by yourself they want to come with you! which in turn means you are more likely to socialize with other dog lovers. Leaving you hopefully feeling even less lonely!
3-They aid in getting you out of depression! They give you responsibility , studies show that having some responsibility can aid in pulling you out of a depression. They give you something to do , you have to feed them, you have to bring them outside or clean there litter box, you know that and guess what , they know that to. They will make sure you remember to do those things for them ,they will let you know when its time to go out or to feed. Thus, giving you a chance to see that you are still able to care for them , so why not care for yourself? They think you are gods gift to them they want you to be happy and will do everything in there power to get you to feel happy. But when you are upset and crying they will sit right beside you and lick away those tears.
4-They get you active! After a flare up it i can be hard to get back to living an active life style. Having a dog especially will get you to that first step , Outside! They will get you walking, thus, building back up mussel which you likely lost during your flare. Start with a walk and when you feel up to it , if you have a young healthy dog of the proper breed you may even jog , run or bike with them!
5-They can alert when you need help! A dog is very intuitive , For instincts you pass out from lack of eating or low blood pressure..etc They will sense that there is something wrong leading them to become upset hopefully getting them to bark and bring attention to your situation.
From my personal experience of having two wonderful dogs , I have seen the benefits first hand. My dogs know when i am unwell or upset. When my Crohn’s starts to flare up I get the arthritis right along with that. I have noticed that when I bring the dogs for a walk during those times , they slow down , they do not pull they can see that i am struggling and know I can not go at the regular pace. They can sense when I am upset or stressed out , during my times of high anxiety they calmly sit with me , my beagle ,she is silly she doesn’t give out many kisses but when she sees that i am having anxiety issues she always sits right there and gives me kisses.
Mable on the other hand , no lack of kisses on her end! she gives them even when she knows she shouldn’t be “like after eating my new bra”.
My beagle Fluffers is getting older she is starting to slow down during our walks, she can’t jump up like she use to , she can not keep up with Mable whom is only just over a year and of a more active breed then herself . She walks at a slower pace then my regular one now but after seeing her slow down for me I make sure to slow down for her , our walks may be shorter and slower but i will treasure every moment of everyone of them.
I hope that you all got something out of this entry , I will link a bunch of very interesting and use articles below for you to learn more about what i have touched on here:
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