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Pet Therapy (And Why it Works)

If you don’t like cats or dogs, even bunnies or pigs, this post might not be for you. But if you know someone that loves animals and is going through a hard time, it might be something worth passing on.

For a long time now, animals acting as therapeutic companions to those struggling with mental and physical disabilities have been revered. But they’re good company for those struggling with difficult times or bouts of depression. If you don’t have a furry friend, it might be worth considering. Here’s why:

 1) They Offer Unconditional Love

Sometimes the end of a relationship can be difficult. We feel unloved and alone. But bringing in pet that offers no opinion or judgment can be the very thing we need to heal quicker.

In a study conducted by Johns Hopkins Depression & Anxiety Bulletin, nursing home residents in a St. Louis facility for the aged felt less lonely after quiet time spent with a dog.

You could eat mud pies and watch the worst television show in the world, and your dog or cat would still love you all the same.

2) They Change us for the Better

Pets can actually alter our behavior. Just like tiny babies, seeing our pet at the end of a hard day can cause us to coo and create sound effects that we wouldn’t share in public. They bring out the love in us, which opens our heart and dresses our face with a smile.

The cuteness factor alone can bring us joy when they join us on the couch with a bowl of popcorn. Our four-legged friends bring us calm. They teach us patience. In a word, they change us for the better.

3) The Teach us Responsibility

If we struggle with getting things done, a kitty or puppy dog will surely teach us otherwise. We learn to love them so much that we go out of our way to make sure they have fresh food and water and plenty of playthings.

Psychologists say that pet owners build self-esteem when they take on pet ownership tasks. When we succeed at taking care of our pets, we recognize we’re just as capable of taking care of ourselves.

Having a companion when there is no one or nothing else is an incredibly loving way to bring ourselves back to a place of peace and happiness. And with so many dogs and cats (and bunnies and pigs) looking for a forever home, it’s easy to find a companion that’s right for you.

Unconditional love is a beautiful thing. So is healing. What kind of pet will you bring home today?

Joleene Moody is a PositivityGuides writer and Robbins-Madanes interventionist, specializing in offering information that helps readers shift their mindset quickly in order to improve their lives.

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