This could be good news for the pet owners, who are in much better health and emotional condition than the ones who are without. A recent study revealed in Chicago, researchers expressed that interaction between human and animals have a positive impact on the former’s social relationships. The scientists see it as a new way of healing and medical treatment, which, are expected to have a long-term effects on various people.
Researchers collected a group of 40 elders affected by dementia. For a period of one to one and a half hours every week for three, successive months they were made to take care of dogs. They groomed and fed them. These adults practically lead a life on assistance. However, they were encouraged to do simple tasks like putting a collar etc. The scientists were surprised to find that after repeated trials these people started showing positive results, both physically and mentally. McCune, leader of Human-Animal Interaction at Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, emphasizes that patients suffering from dementia can show signs of recovery if they are treated likewise. Consequently stay at home.
Treatment with dogs is not restricted within the sphere of dementia. It has more benefits in the social level too. The pet owners make more friends while in their outing with their pets. They meet and interact with more people, even when they are new in the neighborhood. They can interact better and faster and at once becomes integral to the community. This number, sharply decreased when it came to people who do not possess any pet.
Not only the social activity increases, but also the physical exercise. Since this group visits the outdoors more often for dog walking therefore they are more alert about the safety of the community, keeping a cautious eye on the road.
Studies held in different countries like China, Australia, Germany and Canada reveals that owning pets can reduce visits to the doctor. People having pets at home are more physically and mentally healthy. Therefore, they visit the physician 15 to 20% less. They intake lesser pills and medicines compared to the ones not having any pets.
In another study by Washington State University, important psychological developments have been noticed because of human-animal interaction. A group of 64 boys and girls from 10 to 14 years were made to act together with horses. They were broadly divided into two groups, namely, the experimental and control groups. The scientist made the adolescents in the experimental group interacted with horses for a period of 11 week. At the end of which they claimed that the children showed positive result in their emotional level, which also showed a change in their behavior pattern. They became better in making and maintaining relationships, they became responsible, alert and good in taking decisions.
Dr. Sandra McCune is very hopeful about the immense positive result that this research has shown. She puts in that possibility is there that in future doctors prefer having pets at home to taking pills. Pets might be considered as ideal alternative for medicine, throwing a challenge to the latter.