Monday, April 8, 2013

Can an Animal Really Help Ease the Symptoms and Side Effects of Chronic Pain?

I never was really a dog person until recently, yes honey I just admitted that.  In fact, a little over a year ago my sister in laws dog had a three puppies and my husband wanted one.  I personally wasn't thrilled with the thought of having to worry about potty training, cleaning up after, or dealing with behavior training a young puppy.   My husband promised me that I wouldn't have to worry about taking care of him.  I have to admit he was pretty darned cute puppy.  When it was time for the puppies to leave their mommy, his sister called and told my husband that he could come pick up his new puppy.  This puppy had a cute face that you just couldn't resist (see photo to the left - see what I mean), so needless to say, I was the one who drove the family around the block to pick up the puppy.  I knew deep down that he was cute and would be a good puppy, I just never wanted to admit it to my family at the time.

Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only. The opinions reflected in this post are my own and are based upon my own experiences with chronic pain.

Bonding With Your Pet

Around October of 2012, we began spending lots of time together since I have been at home alone.  When he was young and wasn't potty trained, I didn't get him out of his crate very often because I knew that I couldn't take care of cleaning up after his messes.  However, as he got older and stopped using the bathroom in the house, I started letting him out of his crate.  In fact, without my puppies it would be pretty lonely around the house during the day when no one is home with me.  Not only do they keep me company but they seem to help  me cope with my chronic pain.  

Pets Can Give Chronic Pain Sufferers Something to Look Forward to

You are probably wondering how a pet can help you to manage your chronic pain.  Animals are similar to children and require care and attention.  An animal needs you and you have to get up with them each morning, in fact, they can give you something to look forward to every morning especially if you live alone.  An animal is always happy to see you and enjoy spending time with you.    

Service Animals Can Be Beneficial for a Chronic Pain Patient

Some animals are working animals and can help you with simple tasks such as picking up the things that you dropped or can perform other tasks like opening a door, turning on a light, waking you up, ect.  While not all animals have this ability but there are ways to get a service animal if you need one.  Service animals can also assist you when you are running errands as well.

A Furry Friend Can Help Ease Loneliness and Depression

Your animal can keep you company and help keep your from being lonely.  A pet shows you unconditional love and they don't care how you look, they love you anyways.  If you suffer from depression, an animal can help ease those symptoms.  Plus, they are even known to help ease the symptoms of arthritis.  Having a pet helps take the focus off of your own problems and focus on caring for them.  Most animals enjoy snuggling with you and enjoying your company as well.

Caring for Your Pet

If you decide to get an animal, it is important that you pick an animal that you can care for.  A pet needs regular care such as food, water, vaccinations, medical care, and grooming.  Do pick a pet that you can handle alone.  Do find one that is fairly low maintenance so that you don't have to spend hours grooming and brushing their fur.  This is very important if you don't have other people to help you care for the animal.  If you have family members, then they can provide a majority of the care and leave you with the bare minimum to deal with.

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