Living with cancer blog

Pets improve quality of life

By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N. October 9, 2010

Your best friend, companion and greatest listener might be the one who snuggles up with you during a nap, can't wait to take a walk in the afternoon, and gives you big sloppy kisses or purrs when you let them know how much you love them. For those of you have a pet, you know what I'm talking about.

Research has shown time and again that there are positive benefits to having a pet in the home when you're going through a health crisis or dealing with a chronic disease. The positive benefits are true for all age groups, from young children through adults.

Some of the benefits include: decreased level of anxiety and despair, increased feelings of well being, increased social functioning, and increased mental capabilities. In other words, having a pet present can really make a difference in your daily quality of life.

They are a source of comfort and unconditional love; they require nurturing and attention (which takes the focus off of you and on to them for a while). Having a pet can also give you a sense of safety and security. A true companion at any time you might need it!

I would love to hear from those of you who have pets in your life. Share your stories with each other on how having a pet as a cancer survivor has helped you.

With

Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.

Follow on Twitter: @SherylNess1

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Oct. 09, 2010