Dog with sick child

Pets provide companionship, but their impact goes far beyond giving their owners a sense of closeness or solidarity. The animals we share our lives with are so much more than friends; they’re important and valued members of our immediate family. We love them because they make us feel good and give our lives meaning. When we reciprocate their unconditional love, we become the best versions of ourselves. Add to this the immense benefits to every aspect of human health and that’s the transformative power of therapy animals. 

Same Language

Have you ever noticed that your pet seems to understand exactly what you’re thinking or saying? It’s true we may not speak the same language, but our pets communicate with us beautifully. With their intelligence and intuition, pets have the power to make us feel happy, calm, noticed, and supported. 

Therapeutic Benefits of Pets

Scientific research confirms what animal lovers have known for millennia. The life-affirming connection we share with our pets affects our mental and physical health in so many ways, including:

  • Decrease cortisol, the stress hormone
  • Lower and stabilize blood pressure
  • Boost mood
  • Reduce feelings of isolation, despair, depression, anxiety and loneliness
  • Increase the social bonds we feel towards other people and their pets

In Good Health

While most pet owners receive emotional support from their pets, not all pets are viewed as emotional support animals. 

Pet owners with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, phobias, and more can qualify for a certified emotional support animal through the recommendation from a mental health professional or medical doctor. Therapy animals assist in a wide variety of tasks and may wear distinctive clothing or accessories to indicate their status to members of the public.

Emotional support animals can include all types of pets. In addition to common pets like cats, dogs, rabbits, and birds, many people find that exotics and other animals improve their mental and physical well-being:

  • Pigs
  • Chickens
  • Goats
  • Llamas
  • Hamsters
  • Guinea pigs
  • Rats
  • Mice

Trusted Animals

Additionally, professionally-trained service animals can detect symptoms of major illness, like diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, depression, and PTSD. They know how to alert their owners/handlers to the fact that they are near danger and help them with medication, safety concerns, and can even seek emergency help if needed. 

Mental Health and Animals

The power and influence of animals on our lives is far-reaching, long-lasting and deeply meaningful. Taking care of them is one of humanity’s greatest privileges and we love to continue the tradition of supporting lifelong animal well-being

If you have questions about helping your best friend achieve optimal wellness throughout every life stage, we are always here for you at Animal Medical Center.