Posted: April 09, 2018 14:50 by admin
Topics: Pet Effect

Pets offer unconditional love and undying loyalty to their owners, but did you know that loving a pet can make you healthier? The Human Animal Bond Research Institute, HABRI, has conducted significant research into the ‘pet effect’ phenomenon. This phenomenon involves the effect that animals have on a human’s quality of life. This ‘pet effect’ has been shown to improve a human’s physical, social and psychological health.

Scientific evidence demonstrates that pets can help:

  • Increase psychological well being and alleviate depression - Those with pets experience greater satisfaction with life.  Therapy dogs are used in depression treatment plans. These dogs help people feel less lonely, improve confidence and give them a sense of purpose.
  • Improve heart health and heart attack survival - There is a 40% relative risk of a heart attack in people who do not own a cat (i.e. this study only included cats). Being a pet owner can lower cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and blood pressure. Pet owners recover quicker from heart surgery.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder - Children with autism spectrum disorder who own a pet experience positive behavioral changes and are more receptive to socializing with peers. Increased social awareness, interaction, and social skills are benefits.
  • Anxiety and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder - Since pets offer companionship, victims find their pets alleviate anxiety and provide comfort. Veterans experienced lower anxiety, depression, and anger. They also had a better ability to cope with flashbacks.
  • Healthy aging - Reduces loneliness and depression among the elderly.
  • Alzheimer’s disease - Pets improve psychological functioning.
  • Cancer detection  and support - There is growing research indicating a canine’s olfactory sense can detect cancer. Dogs also offer cancer patients with support and companionship.

image1-1.jpg What if Pet Ownership is Not Possible?

Even though 53% of people without a household pet would like to own one in the future, there are many reasons why pet ownership is not possible, including lifestyle factors and financial constraints. If ownership is not possible, there are various alternative ways to interact with a pet. Spending time with a family member’s pet, pet-sitting or volunteering at an animal shelter are all viable ways to receive the health benefits of a pet.

You can also visit with Buddy, a Bearded Dragon, who serves as a therapy pet at Dr. Lehman’s office. Bearded Dragons that are handled frequently are very social and very tame. Buddy loves humans and is extremely gentle. He has helped anxious humans to be calm and has restored smiles to those who were sad. Most of the time, Buddy will fall asleep on your lap, as long as you keep petting him!

The Pet Effect West Palm Beach

Dr. Lee Ann Lehman
Dr. Lee Ann Lehman focuses on the entire family as she helps to resolve complex issues. Her approach is different because she thinks outside the box to help guide you to the best solution(s) tailored to fit your needs. She works alongside you empowering you with the tools to gain control of your situation. Using respect, kindness, and understanding, she helps you to feel that it is okay to seek help rather than continue to be troubled by your situation. Her techniques are evidence-based and proven to be effective. As a result, she can help families learn coping skills to help deal with complex mental health issues and situations such as divorce, substance abuse, and trauma. Driven by her practice’s mission statement: “To increase an individual’s and/or family’s ability to cope with difficult situations using acceptance, understanding, education and guided practice with the tools necessary to restore confidence and freedom from the burden of emotional and physical threat.”

Call today at 561-701-3159 to obtain answers to your questions and to schedule an appointment.

West Palm Beach
The Family Psychologist
2101 Vista Parkway
Suite 202
West Palm Beach, FL 33411
(561) 701-3159

The Family Psychologist
8461 Lake Worth Road
Lake Worth, FL 33467

(561) 701-3159

The Family Psychologist
850 NW Federal Highway
Stuart, FL 34994
(561) 701-3159

The Family Psychologist
100 E. Linton Blvd.
Suite 140A
Delray Beach, FL 33483
(561) 701-3159

© Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.


No Comments