Connecting People and Nature #4


In my blog we have talked about multiple topics within the animal realm, but today I wanted to adress the benefits of having Pets!

Yes, not everyone likes animals and thats totally okay, its a personal preference! For the people that do enjoy the presence of an animal heres somethings about pets that you might not of known!

The reason I decided to talk about this topic today is because in one of my classes at my university we were asked to take a selfie with our pets recently, and it inspired me to go in deeper. In my assignment for that class I explained that Ive owned many different species of animals through out my life, and even call it my little Zoo. A lot of the time these animals are more then just pets the provide so much more.

Ive considered obtaining a service pet my self for my Type One Diabetes. Its really amazing what these animals can do. When It comes to the disease I have dogs are able to monitor your blood sugar, alarming you when the notice spike or drop. AMAZING RIGHT! Yes, these type of service animals can be expensive because of training and such, but you’ll receive a life long companion whose at your service:)

Some Background Insight

Guide dogs have been around since the 1750s, mainly at the time to help the visually impaired. Now, that being said the dogs training wasn’t as advanced as we have today but they still were able to preform the basic function their owners needed. This then lead for more modern guide dogs to be developed in Germany during the World War 1 time period. During this time it was mostly conducted by doctors who started to notice specific behaviors dogs had with their owners, eventually leading to a program in the 1923. By 1923 there were 40,000 fully trained German Shepherds equipped to fulfill the needs of anyone who needed it.

At the time only dogs were used as service animals, but in more recent years theres many other species they train. Things like:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Mini Horses
  • Ferrets
  • Snakes
  • Parrots
  • Pigs
  • etc.

These animals art used just for service animals for the blind, deaf, physically imapaired, etc. They are now also used for emotional support animals! For People with Seisures, Anxiety, Depression and countless other things.

The benifits of pets for human health

“Animals play an important role in many people’s lives. In addition to seeing-eye dogs and dogs that can be trained to detect seizures, animals can also be used in occupational therapy, speech therapy, or physical rehabilitation to help patients recover.[1] Aside from these designated therapeutic roles, animals are also valued as companions, which can certainly affect the quality of our lives”

-Dana Cascoitti, PhD

Impact on Health:

  • Improves heart health by lowering blood pressure
  • Reduces stress and strain
  • Seen to ease anxiety in children
  • Behavioral issues seen in children becomes decreased
  • Reduces Depression by taking away the isolated/loneliness feelings
  • Enhaces social support in the elderly
  • Even helps allergies!

Child development:

  • When a child has no brothers or sisters, research shows that pets help children develop greater empathy, higher self-esteem, and increased participation in social and physical activities.

Temporary Companions:

  • Researchers have also used animals to temporarily provide companionship to children with health or mental health problems, or elderly people who may not have the energy or resources for a live-in pet.