Adopting a Pet is therapeutic

Courtesy: The Times of India (dated 2 October 2011)

Credit and Author: Gajanan Khergamker (The Times of  India, dated Oct 2, 2011)

Forty eight-year-old Smriti Parmar had been suffering from chronic depression and her blood pressure had shot up alarmingly since her husband’s death last June. Medication didn’t seem to be helping and her family was at its wits end trying to figure a way out of this problem. That’s when somebody suggested pet therapy. And, it worked! “Since we got Pia, our one-and-half-year-old Alsatian home last month, my mother’s health has improved considerably.

Her blood pressure is under control and she seems a lot happier too,” says Ms Parmar’s son Chirag, an SYBA student. In fact, Ms Parmar spends most of her time with Pia, talking to her, disciplining her, singing to her or doing just about anything . And, now she also wants to get another pet Alsatian to “give Pia company’ ,” says Chirag. Research has proved time and again that petowners tend to be healthier and happier than those who do not have pets at home. They not just have higher survival rates following coronary heart disease ; they are also believed to be less prone to death due to heart attack. “Pets are great stressbusters , they’re good companions , who listen to all your woes without any complaints!” offers senior veterinarian Dr Siloo Bhagwager .

// // Besides the therapeutic value of keeping a pet, they are known to do wonders to a child’s development. “Children who own pets develop a nurturing behaviour, positive self-esteem and an enhanced all-round development,” says Dr Bhagwager. And then, pets are known to be much more perceptive than human beings. Your spouse may not notice that you are in a foul mood, but your pet definitely will! “Just as I enter my home, I know Tarzan – my two-year-old Doberman – knows how my day has been!” says realty consultant Tarun Mehra. “And, he’ll do all that he can, roll on the floor; dance even play dead to fetch a smile on my face, if
I’ve had a crappy day at work,” adds Mr Mehra, who “can’t really say the same” about his wife Nandini though.

“Interestingly, dogs pick up even on the subtlest of body signals, especially of their owners. They can easily gauge your disposition from the smell of your body,” explains Canine Behaviour Counsellor Shireen Merchant. “Besides, they understand your non-verbal signals – facial expressions, body language, et al – too well so you don’t need to tell them everything,” adds the counsellor. Unlike
children, pets are not wilful; they don’t have mood swings and never talk back. “Whether I’m irritable or not, I know Canny, my two-and-halfyear-old cat, adores me unconditionally. She makes me feel that I’m great just the way I am!” says marketing executive Deepika Pradhan. Now, that’s something most human beings just can’t do, can they?


Pet-owners visit the doctor less often than those who do not own pets. Pet-owners are said to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than non-pet-owners .

Pets reduce stress, anxiety and loneliness especially among single owners . Walking with a dog or sharing space with a dog, fills the pet-owner with a sense of security. Children who own pets are known to have positive self-esteem and better cognitive development. They tend to have an enhanced all-round development . Companionship of pets helps one deal better with some serious illness or death in the family.

One Comment on “Adopting a Pet is therapeutic

  1. I can’t imagine anything better than the pleasure that one receives from living in harmony with animals … sharing this insightful article.


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