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 significantly...
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