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How important are your pets to your health.
11-02-2014, 08:45 AM,
#1
cyberpuppet Offline
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How important are your pets to your health.
I suffer from a chronic health condition (fibromyalgia) which leaves me exhausted (and then some) and in pain pretty much the whole time. This is the reason I no longer have a dog - I simply cannot be sure I will be able to take it for walks and give it the necessary exercise and my OH is not a dog lover. I do however have my 3 cats - mum (called Lucky) and 2 "kittens" - now 2 years old and bigger than she is.

The cats make such a difference to me. When I am having a bad day and cannot get out of bed I usually end up with company in the form of a purring furball. If I am getting grumpy and snappy with people because of the pain I can chill out by stroking them. They even keep me amused with their antics and laughter is a wonderful medicine. I would be lost without them.

Is there anyone else here with health problems who is helped by their pets? How much difference do you think pets make in helping sick people?
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11-08-2014, 01:06 AM,
#2
Happyflowerlady Offline
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RE: How important are your pets to your health.
I think that having pets helps a lot with our health, and our outlook on life in general. Sometimes, we have special bonds (more than the usual ones) with some of our pets, and then it is like having a wonderful best friend.
I used to have large dogs; but now that I am older, and do not have very good balance, I worry that large dog might knock me off-balance and I would fall and break something, or not be able to get up at all. So, now I have small dogs. Chipper is my little Yorkie-Poo, and I have had him since he was a puppy. He is now over 10 years old, and at this point , he doesn't need a lot of exercise; so he likes to just spend his time lying beside me, or usually, on my lap.
When I had the large dogs, I always went for long walks with them, and I think that helped me to stay in better health. Now, just the comfort of having Chipper next to me is more of an emotional comfort than a physical thing.
Regardless of how they interact with us; I think that having at least one pet in our lives is a good thing.
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11-23-2014, 01:26 AM,
#3
cyberpuppet Offline
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RE: How important are your pets to your health.
I think it is more difficult to stay depressed with an animal around you. No matter how bad things are when that furry character comes along for stroking and loving it just makes everything seem less heavy.
Dogs are definitely good for exercise - I would like to have one again but I cannot offer it the exercise it needs.
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11-28-2014, 05:07 AM,
#4
Happyflowerlady Offline
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RE: How important are your pets to your health.
Cyber, I can understand about the not being able to give a dog enough exercise because I can't walk long distances any more either. However, my little Chipper is only six lbs, and he is basically an inside dog, and he gets whatever exercise he needs bouncing around in the house, and following me in the yard when I am working outside.
Another possibility would be to adopt an older dog. They aften get abandoned, and then are put to sleep when they go to the dog pound because people are looking for a puppy, and not a ten year old senior dog. They are often wonderful companion dogs, and sometimes, a very good guard dog as well, and since they are older, theyare not up for a lot of exercise either.
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12-02-2014, 07:05 AM,
#5
cyberpuppet Offline
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RE: How important are your pets to your health.
(11-28-2014, 05:07 AM)Happyflowerlady Wrote: Cyber, I can understand about the not being able to give a dog enough exercise because I can't walk long distances any more either. However, my little Chipper is only six lbs, and he is basically an inside dog, and he gets whatever exercise he needs bouncing around in the house, and following me in the yard when I am working outside.
Another possibility would be to adopt an older dog. They aften get abandoned, and then are put to sleep when they go to the dog pound because people are looking for a puppy, and not a ten year old senior dog. They are often wonderful companion dogs, and sometimes, a very good guard dog as well, and since they are older, theyare not up for a lot of exercise either.

Unfortunately my OH is not a dog lover. He did tolerate one when I was able to do all care and walking but he does not so much as want to do a bowl of food for a dog. It is not just the walking it is the poo pick in the back garden which he would never do and I have too many days where even getting out of bed is a challenge - I could not keep the garden clean.

I do hope to reach a stage where I can manage a small dog again but I have to make sure I can cope with everything involved before taking that step. There is also the question of cost - the cats are all covered for vet treatment etc but I could not afford a dog at the moment.
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12-23-2014, 12:34 AM,
#6
Miranda Boldari Offline
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RE: How important are your pets to your health.
Pets play an extremely vital role in cases of depression and depression. People suffering from such have proven and testified time and again how having pets has brought a radical change in their condition.
Generally speaking, pets remind us to take it one day at a time, take things as they come and enjoy it. We forget too often what really matters..
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12-28-2014, 11:18 PM,
#7
cyberpuppet Offline
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RE: How important are your pets to your health.
Pets definitely live in the now - not the then. Sometimes people do get too tangled up either concentrating on the then of the past or the then of the future and they forget what they are experiencing in the present. Animals also have a better way of handling pain/suffering - an acceptance of it. These are all things we can learn from our pets but most of all they give us unquestioned acceptance and love no matter what.
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01-09-2015, 03:25 AM,
#8
DancingLady Offline
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RE: How important are your pets to your health.
They are very entertaining for me, but I don't think they are that important to my health. I am not suffering from loneliness, so that is a big reason why. If I was unable to have a consistent active social life, I think I would be more inclined to rely on pets for companionship to keep my mood up. I know they can be very important to people as they get older and aren't able to get out and about as much.
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01-09-2015, 08:09 AM,
#9
Happyflowerlady Offline
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RE: How important are your pets to your health.
For me, my pets are not just entertainment; Chipper is a big part of my life, like a member of the family. I can see what you are saying , DL, and I think that many people just have a pet just for the entertainment they provide, and I am not saying there is anything wrong with that lack of love for a pet; just that Chipper is more than just a little pet dog in my life.
I am not lonely either, but Chipper is just a special companion, and I enjoy his being there beside me, or sleeping on my lap.
While I can't say that I would be less healthy without a pet; I do think that when person does have health problems that stop them from having an active life and interacting more with friends, then having a pet that they love is definitely something that helps out.
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02-25-2015, 05:49 PM,
#10
mariann Offline
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RE: How important are your pets to your health.
I agree with this that our health is also important because it may be happens that we get infected with our pets but it may not be happen when we take care of them that they should get any type infection by the atmosphere.
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03-23-2015, 08:34 AM,
#11
Happyflowerlady Offline
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RE: How important are your pets to your health.
I think that pets are just more important to some people than they are to others. Many people, regardless of how their health is, have no use for a pet. I have a good friend who is that way. She is my age, and has the usual ailments that seem ot come along with aging; but she would not want any kind of a pet to take care of, and even when we were younger, she was never really interested in any kinds of animals. I don't remember her even having any kinds of pets for her kids when they were growing up, either.
I am just the opposite, and whether I have a busy life, or am a stay at home person; I just like having animals around. For me, it also helps me to stay healthy. Going out and walking a little with my dog is good exercise, and even just knowing that he is sleeping next to me when I am sitting on the couch makes me happier.
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