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Depression and animals: can pet therapy help you?





Credit Eric Ward - Unsplash


Depression and animals: can pet therapy help you?


Having a pet is good for your morale. It is scientifically proven that dogs, cats or goldfish dispel stress and protect health. Animals can even be used as therapy in certain psychological disorders, such as depression. Discover the benefits of pet therapy for depression.

 

Pet therapy: what is it?

Pet therapy (or animal mediation) is by definition using animals as mediators to create an interaction between a therapist and a person. The goal is to offer a moment of well-being through the animal or even to carry out real psychological work which comes within a therapeutic framework.

In full development in recent years, it helps people with psychological, psychomotor or even physical disorders.

 

Depression: How Can Pets Help You?

In general, pets have seen their psychological virtues recognized.

Thus, having a dog, a cat, birds or even a goldfish ... can reduce stress and anxiety. Happy pet owners are also less prone to depression.

According to a survey conducted by Opinion way, 93% of French people say they feel comfort in their presence and 94% think that a pet helps get through difficult periods in life. In general, people with animals are also more active, less isolated than others.

Isolation, stress, anxiety … Factors or symptoms of depression, which therefore seem reduced thanks to the animal.

 

Pets to cure diseases?

While animals have a protective effect on mental health, they are also used to alleviate symptoms of certain diseases. Thus, several hospital departments do not hesitate to use them to reduce patient stress or help them regain morale. Companion animals are also recommended in cases of people suffering from senile dementias, in particular Alzheimer.

Certainly, many scientists remain skeptical: is having a dog that improves health or being well promotes the purchase of a companion? And some do not hesitate to point out the risks inherent in owning an animal: bites, allergies, infections. Particularly dangerous if the animals are placed in people who are weakened or have health problems. But don't worry, the benefits seem more important than the few risks.



Warning: if owning a pet is a health asset, there is no question of running to the first animal store! This is a long-term commitment, which requires responsibility.

Think before you commit. If necessary, ask your friends who have pets or a veterinarian for advice. Better: go to the shelter of the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA) closest to you. You will have sound advice. Because do not forget, for your animal to be a source of well-being, it is necessary to bring him happiness too.

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