Many articles have been written on the loneliness in society — THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE — PRESCRIBE PETS NOT PRESCRIPTIONS
Children & Pets:
- Pet ownership during infancy has been linked with a reduced risk of asthma and allergies and even some kinds of cancer.
- Children who own pets show increased empathy towards other people and animals.
Depression disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the US pop. 18 year’s and older. This includes major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder.
- The rate of increase of depression among children is an astounding 23%.
- 30% of women are depressed. Men’s figures were previously thought to be half that of women, but new estimates are higher.
- 80% of depressed people are not currently having any treatment.
Healing the Heart — Dr. Erica Friedman, Chair of the Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences at New York’s Brooklyn College.
- One of the first non-psychologists to study the health benefits of animal companions. Recently examined people who had suffered from Arrhythmia — irregular heartbeats— after heart attacks. These men and women, all participants in a national clinical trial, Friedman found that patients with an animal companion were more likely to be alive after one year, and that patients who had a dog were 8.6 times more likely to survive the year than those without animals.
A 1994 study out of the New York City’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, researchers found that an animal can have a beneficial effect on a healthy person who is caring for a spouse with cancer. They can also help terminally ill adults deal with their illness.
- These studies helped to create a new field called Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) which is being used in various areas of medicine, Washington’s Delta Society — the leading international resource for the human-animal bond.
The following are research findings (reprinted from the Delta Society)
- Seniors who own dogs go to the doctor less than those who do not. In a study of 100 Medicare patients, even the most highly stressed dog owners had 21% fewer physician contacts than non-dog owners. (Siegel, 1990)
- Seniors who own pets coped better with stress life events without entering the healthcare system. (Raina, 1998)
- Pet owners have lower blood pressure. (Friedman, 1983, Anderson, 1992)