Pets and Disability; Why they are a Perfect Match

Many people are aware of the immediate joy that pets bring into their life. Unlike people, a furry friend will love and depend on you entirely with no reservation leaving you no choice but to love them back. What most people don’t know, however, is that pets are also great for your health. Plenty of research shows that dogs and cats can help ease depression, anxiety, loneliness, and cardiovascular issues.

In the recent past, mobility service dogs have been used prevalently to help people living with a disability. These dogs assist people living with congenital issues, neuromuscular disorders, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, and other spinal and brain injuries. The question however is, what part do pets play to help a disabled person?

1.     Increase their independence

 Service dog tasks include opening and closing doors, turning lights on, dressing, getting the phone when it’s ringing, getting help in case of an emergency and balance. Instead of hiring a nurse who will be with you the whole day, a pet can assist you with minor things so you can be independent. 

2.     Reduce stress and depression

2015 adults surveyed in a National Poll on Healthy Aging said that their fury friends made them very happy and reduced stress drastically. There is a lot of emotional turmoil that disabled people go through, and it can lead to depression and loneliness. For instance, large companies like Aetna often deny claims but a pet brings joy and companionship ensuring they don’t get depressed during hard times.

3.     Physical exercise

Everybody should get at least an hour of proper physical activity per day. This is especially important for disabled people who spend a lot of time sitting down. A pet helps you get up and about. 78% of the dog owners surveyed above said that their pet helped them to be more aggressive because they have to walk it, clean up, and play with them.

4.     Improve their social life

According to research, isolated or lonely people are more likely to die faster than those who have a great social life. That’s because loneliness raises the chances of heart disease and stroke by 32%. People who have pets, especially dogs and cats, will be more likely to meet other pet owners when they take the pet outside to play. A pet also lifts your mood and forces you to go out of your comfort zone, which increases your chance of meeting other people.

5.     Sensory stress relief

There is a basic need for touch in every human being, and most disabled people are deprived of that. When you have a pet, you can hold it, hug it play with it and cuddle sometimes. These acts of caring help you bond with your pet while increasing your calmness, lowering blood pressure, and making you feel loved.

The benefits of a pet to a disabled person are endless. While dogs and cats are always the go-to options, you can also adopt any other kind of pet like fish, reptile, bunny, or even a bird. A pet gives you purpose and helps you to structure your life, so they don’t suffer.