Animal therapy

When you’ve been used to sharing your home with someone, whether it be a spouse, aged parent, or even children, and it is suddenly silent and empty when you return, it can double that feeling of loss.

Animals can be a valuable help and comfort in dealing with bereavement.

No-one to share your day with, mull over problems or even to share a meal. So, taking in a pet, whether it be dog or cat, or even a bird or tortoise, can give companionship in such circumstances.

A dog or a cat perhaps would not only give comfort but possibly develop a whole new lease of life for its owner, meeting new friends on the daily walks.

It is now well known that to stroke an animal is therapeutic and many care homes now allow new residents to bring their pets as well. I’ve known some care homes who invite a visiting dog to meet the residents once or twice a week, and I’ve certainly seen care home cats, making themselves at home.

We hear all the time about the amazing support dogs, such as hearing dogs, but everyday pets are equally amazing. Some acting as alerts when the phone rings or someone is at the door, giving their owners a nudge if they feel they are nodding off and it has been known for dogs to keep their owners warm when they have fallen and been unable to get up and are waiting for help to arrive.

Obviously, this isn’t for everybody but if you or someone you know gives this some serious consideration you need to ensure it is not going to be a burden and you or they would be able to cope. It is also a good idea to consider a rescue animal; the charity involved will always try to match the right person with the right pet.

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