Pets

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Thesis: Research suggests that animals can significantly improve one’s health by helping to fight depression, lower blood pressure, and improve physical/mental conditioning. I. Introduction a. Animals provide love, friendship and companionship; however they can also provide health benefits to people. b. Animal-assisted activities or AAA are activities in which animals are activities that enhance the quality of one’s life by providing educational, motivational, or recreational opportunities. i. AAA is usually accompanied by specially trained professionals or possibly animal volunteers that meet certain specific criteria. c. Animal-assisted therapy or AAT is a process in which an animal is used to help rehabilitate someone either mentally or physically. ii. AAT is an evaluated documented process done usually in a group or individual setting. d. Animals such as horses, dolphins, cats, guinea pigs, birds, dogs and many others are used for AAA and AAT. e. National Pet Owners Survey performed in 2007-2008 (which was sponsored by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association) shows that pets found in 71.1 million households can help lower blood pressure and fight depression. (Barker, 2008) f. Research suggests that animals can significantly improve one’s health by helping to fight depression, lower blood pressure, and improve physical/mental conditioning. II. Animals can significantly improve one’s health by helping to fight depression. a. Allen (2010) discusses how dogs that visit people in hospitals can help lower depression in individuals by offering companionship and social interaction. b. Scott (2011) discusses in the article a recent study in which men with AIDS suffered from symptoms of depression 3 times more often than men who did not have AIDS. c. Tower & Nokota (2006) provide study results that show unmarried females living with pets show less symptoms of depression. III. Animals can


References: Allen, A. (2010, February). Peata: What Is It? What Do They Do? How Can You and Your Practice Help? Irish Veterinary Journal. 63(2). 88-89 Allen, K. (2003, December). Are Pets a Healthy Pleasure? The Influence of Pets on Blood Pressure. Current Directions in Psychological Science (Wiley-Blackwell), 12(6), 236-239 Barker, J. (2008, May). Animal Whispers. Successful Meetings, 57(6), 76-77. Chandler, C. (2001, October) Animal-Assisted Therapy in Counseling and School Settings. Retrieved from ERIC database (ED459404) Kaminski, M., Pellino, T., & Wish, J. (2002, Fall) Play and Pets: The Physical and Emotional Impact of Child-life and Pet Therapy On Hospitalized Children. Children’s Health Care. 31(4). 321-35 McGraw, C. (2007, March). Dog Ownership and Physical Activity. Primary Health Care. 17(2). 30 Pavlides, M. (2008). Animal-Assisted Interventions for Individuals with Autism. London, UK & Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers Scott, E. (2011, May). How Owning a Dog or Cat Can Reduce Stress: The Health Benefits of Pet Ownership. Retrieved July 24, 2011, from about.com website, http://stress.about.com/od/lowstresslifestyle/a/petsandstress.htm Serpell, J. (1991, December). Beneficial effects of pet ownership on some aspects of human health and behaviour. Journal Of The Royal Society Of Medicine. 84(12). 717-20. Tower, R.B. & Nokota, M. (2006). Pet Companionship and Depression: Results from a United States Internet Sample. Anthrozoos. 19(1). 54-64.

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