The Healing Power of Pets

December 3, 2009

The Healing Power of Pets

 In 1993 my 4 year old cat, Sam, showed me firsthand the healing powers of the love, empathy and support a pet can give their “parents”.

 Sam was a feisty nocturnal feline.  In the wee hours of the morning, Sam had an annoying habit of banging on wall pictures and knocking items to the floor, in an effort to get my attention. For many years I suffered from sleep deprivation. Once I complained to my doctor that I couldn’t take it anymore—his response; “your cat is the reason you are so healthy—don’t knock him.”

You see, in 1993 I was diagnosed with MS. Stress has been shown to be a major contributing factor in the progression of MS. However, from 1993 to 2007 I didn’t take any drug therapies and there wasn’t any significant change. Despite all of those sleepless nights Sam was doing more to help stave off the progression of my MS then any drug could, in my opinion.

Countless studies have concluded that stress is less damaging to pet owners.  Research shows that people with a pet dog or cat have a measurable improvement in health, and spend less money on healthcare.

Documented studies on human health suggest that pet ownership has the

following benefits:

–  Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease

–  Reduces anxiety, depression and increases self-esteem

–  Higher survival rates from heart attacks

–  Fewer doctor visits

–  Reduced risk of asthma and allergic rhinitis in children exposed to pet allergens during the first year of their life

–  Better physical and psychological well-being for seniors

–  Lower blood pressure

With these studies in mind, in 2007 I decided to make a life changing career move from Wall Street to pet sitting.  I now have the privilege of caring, loving and providing pet services to hundreds of pet dogs and cats. I often say, “as much as I loved my Wall Street clients, they never jumped up and down the way my clients do now.”

Earlier this year I had an MRI. Compared to an MRI I had in 2007, there shows a “slight decrease and improvement” in my condition. A coincidence, perhaps, but I think this is attributed to my furry friends. 

Since research consistently suggests the profound effect pet dogs and cats have on their parents’ physical and emotional health, I’d like to suggest an innovative alternative to health care reform–adopt a pet dog or cat. Finding a pet is easy, I recommend starting with Pet Finder.  There are millions of homeless pets just waiting to love and care for you, and saving just one means all the difference in the world.

This article was written by Deborah Jack, owner of Fetch! Pet Care New Jersey Gold Coast.  Deborah can be reached at 201-490-4498.  Fetch! Pet Care is the largest national pet care company in the United States; serving 38 states in more than 2,000 cities and towns.

Follow Fetch! Pet Care on Twitter!


5 Responses to “The Healing Power of Pets”

  1. This is a wonderful story! I feel like my dogs are a constant source of comfort and caring!

  2. Kimberly Louloudis Says:

    Great information in a heartwarming story.

  3. Phyllis Durborow Says:

    We may never know the full extent of our pets influence on the quality of our lives. This article says a lot about the benefits of pet ownership that we may not even be aware of!

  4. Barbara Gates Says:

    I am convinced that my dogs have saved my sanity throughout the years of raising a teenager … and I don’t have to tell them to turn down the music and take off their headphones when I want to communicate with them! 🙂

  5. emmageek Says:

    So meaningful, especially around the Xmas season!

    Libby Mitchell

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