Increasingly, research supports the long-held view that animals are good for our human health. Our own hearts and minds benefit from our relationships with our pets.
Research published this week reveals patients recovering from a cardiovascular event who lived alone but had a dog, had a 33% lower mortality rate than for those without a pet.
Today also marks World Mental Health Day, and there are numerous studies which suggest those with pets have lower rates of depression and anxiety, and even increased levels of cortisol in students who live with animals.
With greater awareness of and understanding of mental health, the VCMS today celebrates the positive impact of our pets in helping our mental and physical health and wellbeing.
At the VCMS we also recognise the impact of an animal’s health and wellbeing on the owner. It is often distressing when a pet is unwell, and this can bring challenges with communication and misunderstanding in terms of veterinary care, prognosis and outcomes.
In our experience, the best way to minimise further stress and anxiety is to keep channels of communication constructive and, if you are unsure, ask the question and talk to someone in the veterinary practice team to let them know that you are unsure or you have more questions. Avoiding misunderstandings will help in the long-term and enable owners and practices to work together which has to be in your pet’s best interest.