Everyone benefits from pet therapy.
– Mario D Garrett Ph.D., iAge
Be sure to read the article Pet Therapy For Older Adults by Mario D. Garrett, Ph.D.
- In 1859, Florence Nightingale wrote that a small pet “is often an excellent companion for the sick, for long chronic cases especially.”
- Dog ownership is associated with lower heart attack risks and increased survival one year after a heart attack.
- Older pet owners walk significantly farther when they walked with a dog, which might contribute to their making fewer visits to the doctor.
- Even in nursing homes, the presence of a dog is associated with reduced need for medication, improved physical functioning, and improved vital signs—even when patients are suffering from dementia.
- The list of benefits includes reductions in loneliness, agitated behaviors, and depression, and increases in engagement, well-being, nutritional intake, and social interactions.