The Effects Of Pets On Our Health Essay

1466 Words Dec 20th, 2016 6 Pages
Pets are often considered beloved members of our family. Besides being adoring friends that live in our homes, pets are also known to have beneficial effects on our health. One particular area of research that is being expanded is the effect that pets have on our mental health, as well as their usefulness as a form of therapy. We are already seeing service animals trained to deal with specific types of mental illness, but even animals undesignated to service seem to provide benefits just by living alongside humans. Just how much do pets support and improve our mental health, and how effective are pet-based therapies? Participants in a STARS (Study of Transitions & Recovery Strategies) study were surveyed after a period of time with their pets and felt their mental health illness was relieved in several major ways. In post-study interviews, they claimed that pets, “assisted in their recovery from serious mental illness by (a) providing empathy and “therapy”; (b) providing connections that could assist in redeveloping social avenues; (c) serving as “family” in the absence of or in addition to human family members; and (d) supporting participants’ self-efficacy and strengthening their sense of empowerment” (Wisdom, Saedi, & Green, 2009). Pets offer nonjudgmental companions who are simply happy to be in the presence of their owners, and although this STARS study explores a lot of intangibles, participants clearly enjoyed the comfort and presence of pets. Pets provide a sense of…

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