behind—pets’ unique ability to relax and even uplift patients, particularly those who are undergoing cancer treatment.
According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, pets can relax you, reduce your feelings of isolation and distract you from the pain. Having an animal that needs you can also give you the motivation to recover.
“There is mounting evidence in human and veterinary medicine that the emotional bond between people and companion animals can have a positive impact on emotional and physical health,” says Dr. Michael McFarland, director of Companion Animal Veterinary Operations at Zoetis. “These new results help advance our understanding of the value of animal-assisted therapy in cancer treatment and point to the ways the oncology and animal health communities can work together in supporting cancer patients to achieve the best possible outcome.”
Walking, feeding and playing with a pet can also restore some sense of normalcy in your life when everything else is so out of kilter. And when you have to depend on others for so many things, it may just feel good to have something—whether it’s a dog or a cat, a hamster or a fish—relying on you for a change.
Being needed can be empowering and healing!
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About Our Author
Terri L. Jones