Chicago Animal Care and Control protects public safety and ensures the humane care of animals through sheltering, pet placement, education and animal law enforcement. For the science geek in everyone, Live Science offers a fascinating window into the natural and technological world, delivering comprehensive and compelling news and analysis on everything from dinosaur discoveries, archaeological finds and amazing animals to health, innovation and wearable technology. We aim to empower and inspire our readers with the tools needed to understand the world and appreciate its everyday awe.
We already know that the many physical benefits pets confer onto people work for all ages, whether you’re eight or eighty. If you’re older, a pet can offer you a sense of well being, a sense of encouragement, and even a reason for living. Being responsible for another life can add new meaning to your own life, and having to care for and provide a loving home to a companion animal can also help you remain active and healthy.
When examining the relationship between pet ownership and health, it is helpful to first consider the mechanisms through which we believe the effect might work. For example, do pets promote health through companionship and emotional support; do they encourage healthy behavior; or is there something else about them that could improve mental or physical health? Understanding these mechanisms is vital for understanding how pets might impact health so that we can translate findings into broader public health policy.
Given the right animal, people, and circumstances, pets can indeed serve as “therapists.” In animal-assisted therapy programs, a companion animal may visit with hospital or nursing home patients. For the program to be safe and effective, the animal must be carefully screened and the pet’s caregiver must be trained to guide the animal-human interactions. When a specific … Read moreRead More →