THE THERAPEUTIC EFFECT OF ANIMALS ON OUR LIFE
Due to World Animal Day on October 4, it is important to mention the benefits of interacting with an animal or owning a pet.
Research shows that taking care of an animal and its companionship can:
- Create positive emotions, release hormones of happiness & reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation
- Improves social interaction
- Reduce stress while increasing self-confidence, patience & responsibility
- Prevents &/or treats depression
- Improve physical condition
These are some of the benefits that are more or less known. However, the presence of animals in our lives has also taken the form of treatment. There is, therefore, animal-assisted therapy, which essentially enhances the treatment of physical or mental illness. This treatment can be done with a dog or any other animal, such as equine therapy, which is quite common for the treatment of addictions, developmental disorders, etc. In Greece it is not so widespread yet, but abroad it exists even in large rehabilitation centers. The form of treatment can be done either independently or in combination with another type of treatment (mental or physical).
So, it has been found that they can help
- Children: with ADHD, autism, Down Syndrome (enhances emotional intelligence)
- People: with dementia, depression
- People: being treated for cancer or suffering from cardiovascular disease, epilepsy
- Relief from the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress.
These are some of the benefits that a pet can offer to our lives, but also the new form of therapy with animals. Having a pet requires commitment, responsibility, respect, so before you go through the process of adopting an animal it is important to think about all the changes you will need to make in your life.