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Many people are concerned about the effects of pets on their mental and physical health. This study revealed many benefits to owning a pet, as well as the increasing interest in scientific research about the human-animal bond. Pets can be a source of companionship, which reduces loneliness, depression and sadness, as well as encouraging exercise and playfulness. The argumentative essay focuses on the negative aspects of pet ownership. This essay focuses on the flaws of both studies on pet ownership and human-animal interaction. People are more likely to say only positive things about pets than the general findings. Pet ownership can have financial and housing implications that could be expensive. Unruly pets could also cause problems for owners’ mental well-being. This study, which includes a thorough literature review, demonstrates that pets can have many benefits for a person’s mental and physical well-being.
Pet owners often express their joy at their pets’ companionship. Few people realize the physical and mental benefits of having a pet around. Recent scientific research has shown that human-animal relationships can have positive effects on mental health, particularly in the case of pets. Over the years, animals have learned to respond correctly to human emotions and behaviors. Dogs and cats can understand many human words, but dogs and cats are better at understanding people’s body language, tone, and gestures. Dogs can see into an individual’s eyes to understand their emotions and thoughts. Pets, especially cats and dogs, can help with anxiety, depression, stress, and cardiovascular health. They also encourage playfulness, exercise, and loneliness. Pets can also help children be more active, and secure and provide companionship for older adults. Although some people may find pets annoying and bothersome, they can bring joy and unconditional love to humans.
Changing lifestyles and other socioeconomic factors make mental illnesses more common. Studies show that pet owners are more likely to suffer from depression than people who don’t have them. People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations (Sandoiu, 1). A study found that people with hypertension experienced a gradual drop in blood pressure after adopting dogs. Playing with dogs and cats can help people relax and feel calmer (Robinson & Jeanne). Pet owners are healthier because they exercise more and have lower cholesterol levels. Studies among patients with heart attacks show that patients with pets live longer than those without pets. According to Robertson and Jeanne, hospital visits are less frequent for older adults over sixty-five (Robinson & Jeanne). These examples show the positive effects of having pets on a person’s mental and bodily well-being.
Pet owners enjoy significant health benefits. However, it is important to remember that pets can be more than just cats and dogs. Watching fish in an aquarium can reduce pulse rate and muscle tension. Brooks and colleagues argued that pets provide a basic need for touch and have therapeutic effects on their owners. The interaction between prisoners and their pets can lead to long-term behavioral changes. Most of these inmates experience mutual affection through this interaction. Jaymie and Patricia found that touching, hugging, and stroking a pet’s affection can help to calm down and soothe people, reducing anxiety and stress levels. Pets like dogs and cats offer companionship that reduces loneliness. They can also encourage one to play or exercise, significantly improving a person’s mood and easing depression.
How pets inspire healthy lifestyle changes
Healthy lifestyles promote mental and physical well-being. These lifestyle changes can reduce anxiety, stress, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and stress. These are some of the ways that a pet can help you live a healthy lifestyle. Pets can help you to improve your exercise routines. Taking your dog on a walk, run, or hike is fun. Research shows that dogs whom their owners own are more likely than others to get the exercise they need. This is good news for both them and the pet. Exercise together can improve the human-animal relationship and eliminate behavioral issues in dogs. It also keeps them healthy and fit. Pets provide companionship, which can help prevent illness and increase the life expectancy of owners. Isolation and loneliness increase depression risk and reduce a person’s life expectancy.
Being a pet owner makes you feel loved and appreciated. It also takes your attention off personal issues, especially if you are living alone. Most cats and dogs communicate with their owners, while other pet owners use their animals to solve their problems (Scott). People can make new friends and have fun with their pets. Dog owners are known to be cooperative with their dogs on walks, runs, and in dog parks. Pet owners also meet new people at pet clubs, training classes, and stores. This reduces anxiety and helps pets’ comfort. It can also improve self-confidence for those who are anxious about moving out of their home (Feldman). Pets don’t worry about the future; they live in the present and help people appreciate and remember the joy of today.
Health Benefits of Pets for Older Adults and Children
Besides providing valuable companionship, pets play crucial roles in improving older adults’ wellbeing in diverse ways. People age and lose many things that once brought joy to their lives and provided a reason for living. One can also retire and be far away from family members or children. Owning a pet can bring joy to an older adult and increase their self-worth, optimism, and morale (Scott). Adopting pets, especially older ones, can increase a person’s satisfaction by giving a home to an animal in need. Maintaining social networks as one ages becomes more difficult. Many people feel disconnected from society. Relocation, death, long-term illnesses, and retirement can all lead to the loss of close friends and family (Brooks and al. Pets, especially dogs, can help seniors to make new friends and move on.
Good hygiene and personal care can help older adults overcome many physical challenges that come with aging. Scott explains that cats and dogs can encourage laughter, playfulness, exercise, and laughter which will increase their energy levels and improve their immunity. Pets are not only beneficial for older adults but also encourage healthy behavior in children. Children who have pets learn empathy, compassion and responsibility. Children enjoy learning and doing things without being criticized by adults. Pets are not like parents and teachers. They don’t criticize or give orders. They are a source of love and companionship for children, and they can instill a sense safety (Brooks and al. Pets can also help with separation anxiety and loneliness in children who aren’t accompanied by their parents. Children feel loved and valued by their pet, which helps them develop self-confidence as well as self-image.
Children are inspired by pets and feel positive about their lives. This can have a positive impact on their relationships with others. Research shows that children who have an emotional connection to their pets are more likely to develop healthy human-human relationships (Scott). Studies also show that pets can calm hyperactive and aggressive children. The child and the animal must be trained on how to behave together. Playing with animals can be a great way to relax, stay calm, and stimulate the minds of both children and adults (Chandler 12). Children learn many things from playing with their pets, including how to stimulate their imagination and curiosity. Teaching a dog new trick is a great way to teach children perseverance. A child’s joy at taking care of their pets is also immense.
Many science-based organizations conduct extensive research on the effects of pets and humans. The Human-Animal Bond Research Institute publishes articles to increase awareness about the positive effects of pets on human health (Feldman). HABRI has spent more than two million dollars on studies that examine the health effects of human and animal interaction over the past four years. These studies are conducted in three areas: mental health and wellbeing, healthy aging and child health and developmental (Feldman). HABRI offers an online database that categorizes and archives information as well as research findings about the nature of human-animal bonds. HABRI continues to raise awareness about the health benefits of pet ownership and animal-assisted therapies as the study areas expand. HABRI collaborates with other notable institutions such as UCLA Health, ADAA and Mayo Clinic to share resources and information about this topic.
Pets are not able to cure mental illness. Robinson and Jeanne both state that pet ownership is only for those who love and care about animals. It is important to understand how to care for animals, even if you love them. Pet ownership is a commitment that will last throughout the pet’s life. For dogs, it could take up to 15 years. It is difficult to grieve the loss of a beloved companion after such a long relationship. Grooming, licensing, food bills, food bills, boarding fees and beddings are just some of the costs associated with keeping pets (Robinson and Jeanne). Owning a pet is difficult for those who are elderly, have financial problems, or are unemployed. Pet ownership can be a rewarding relationship, even if you face financial difficulties or are disabled. There are many mental and physical health benefits to pet ownership.
Due to the difficulties in studying these interactions, there is only a limited understanding about human-animal interactions’ health effects. Researches on current health provide a lot of evidence that pets can have mental and physical health benefits. This does not mean that it is easy to tell if a person is healthier because they have a pet or if they are more likely to get one due to their good health. Some people with chronic health problems might feel unable to take care of their pets. These studies show that pet ownership can positively affect mental well-being. Pet owners may not have the time or concern for their health and are less concerned about minor ailments.
Pet owners may also be willing to share their experiences with researchers, which could bias research results. The definition of a pet is another concern. It is unclear whether owning a pet such as a goldfish has the same health benefits as a golden retriever. Pet research typically only covers owners of cats or dogs. This makes it difficult to determine the health effects of pets, such as fish, lizards, birds, or other pets. Brooks and colleagues 4 state that the length of time spent with pets depends on their species. Research often uses pets as companionship for older adults who don’t have the energy or resources to care for their pets or children with mental or physical health issues. These studies rarely produce consistent results, both positive and negative.
These studies offer similar benefits for pet owners. Research on human-dog interaction has shown that patients experience a reduction in anxiety and pain among children and adults (Robinson & Jeanne). These benefits also include improved communication and focus among children with developmental disorders such as autism. Increased interaction between elderly adults and visiting dogs in nursing homes contribute to social behavioral changes, such as less loneliness and increased socialization among residents (Robinson & Jeanne 1). There are many negative aspects to owning pets, including financial and housing implications. Unruly pets can make it difficult to own a pet and cause guilt, which can negatively affect the owner’s mental and physical health. Research shows that horses and dogs are the most difficult animals to manage and keep. Matching your personal circumstances with your pet before you buy one is important.
There are also concerns about the distress that the loss or death of a pet can cause. Research covering natural disasters such as hurricanes shows that pets can suffer acute trauma and long-term consequences (Robinson & Jeanne). Many pet owners have experienced significant distress after losing their beloved companion animal. They could still find joy in their memories after they came to terms with the loss. These events also helped them to understand other difficult life experiences. The positive aspects of these studies involving pets had much more to do with the co-occurring benefits. Brooks et al. 4 also note that the results of studies on animal-assisted treatment and interaction aren’t always consistent. These studies usually involve small groups with pet owners. There is enough evidence to show that even short interactions with companion animals can have many mental and physical health benefits for both the individual as well as the pet.
The owner will reap many mental and physical health benefits from owning a pet. These encouraging results call for more research on the effects of human-animal interaction on human and animal health. It is unclear what health issues pets can influence and the essential characteristics of human-animal interaction. While pet owners often highlight the many benefits of companion animals to their health, the factors that affect these benefits vary greatly from one person to person. Authorities can make policies that benefit more people if they are able to identify specific mental and/or physical health benefits in a given situation. The results may influence regulations in schools, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and other places where animals are discouraged. This study reveals that pets are important in speech therapy, physical rehabilitation, and occupational therapy in order to aid patients in recovery. Pets provide companionship that improves an individual’s emotional well-being. People can use the knowledge gained about animal-human bonding to improve their everyday lives.
Brooks, Helen Louise, et al. “The power of support from companion animals for people living with mental health problems: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of the evidence.” BMC psychiatry 18.1 (2018): 1-12. https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-018-1613-2
Chandler, Cynthia K. Animal-assisted therapy in counseling. Taylor & Francis, 2017. https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=U0AlDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=animal+assisted+therapy&ots=SNj7Wf_KHD&sig=9zmtAV8tsY8xf14HjYadAVrrbgo&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=animal%20assisted%20therapy&f=false
Feldman, Steven. “Alleviating Anxiety, Stress and Depression with The Pet Effect”. Adaa.Org, 2018, https://adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/alleviating-anxiety-stress-and-depression-pet.
Feldman, Steven. “For Better Mental Health, Experience the Pet Effect”. Mental Health America, 2017, https://mhanational.org/blog/better-mental-health-experience-pet-effect.
Patricia Pendry, Jaymie L. Vandagriff. Animal Visitation Program (AVP) Reduces Cortisol Levels of University Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial. AERA Open, 2019; 5 (2): 233285841985259 DOI: 10.1177/2332858419852592 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190715114302.htm
Robinson, Ann. “‘Dogs Have A Magic Effect’: How Pets Can Improve Our Mental Health”. The Guardian, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/17/dogs-have-a-magic-effect-the-power-of-pets-on-our-mental-health.
Robinson, Lawrence, and Jeanne Segal. “Mood-Boosting Power of Pets – Helpguide.Org”. Helpguide.Org, 2019, https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/mood-boosting-power-of-dogs.htm#:~:text=Pets%2C%20especially%20dogs%20and%20cats,valuable%20companionship%20for%20older%20adults.
Sandoiu, Ana. “It’s Official: Pets Benefit Our Mental Health”. Medicalnewstoday.Com, 2018, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320950.
Scott, Elizabeth. “How Having A Pet Affects Your Stress Levels”. Verywell Mind, 2020, https://www.verywellmind.com/how-owning-a-dog-or-cat-can-reduce-stress-3144701.
Young, Janette, Lisel O’Dwyer, and Lisa Lawton. “The case for pets in mental health promotion and policy.” 2016. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/290427213_Pets_and_mental_health_-_literature_review