Benefits of having a Dog in Stressful Situations

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According to the excerpt from “No, I Do Not Want to Pet Your Dog”. Every man or woman at some point in life experiences the adverse consequences of stress and depression. Certain factors bring stress such as family issues, impromptu payments and a car battery which is dead. Many people have different approaches in which they react to these situations, some drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes to reduce the impact of stress.
When stress is in excess to the body, it outcomes in high blood pressure, ulcers and asthma. Also, it enhances the progression of heart ailments since a stressed individual is inclined to overeating and high cholesterol levels, which is one of the most killer diseases in many nations, such as the United States of America. Therefore, there is need to find ways of managing stress, and one of the new approaches to reduce stress is using a therapy dog. A therapy dog is specifically trained to show love and affection to individuals especially in prisons, retirement homes, and hospitals.(Manjoo, 1978). A therapy dog has many benefits regarding providing stress relief, and this essay explores ways in which a dog can assist individuals when in stress.

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the human-animal relationship has enhanced in quite a number of ways. Most pets nowadays are shown affection by humans, and in turn, they replicate the same to people. For instance, dogs are seen to enhance the physical and mental state of their owners. According to recent research, a measure was undertaken when an individual socializes with a familiar and a friendly dog. The results implied that petting such a dog will reduce blood pressure, breathing becomes in a more regular manner and tension in muscles relaxed. All these outcomes are signs of lowered stress.

In another research, the outcome showed how a pet could influence an individual’s life positively. It involved people who had already started showing effects of their stressful lives and assigned to medication to reduce their blood pressure.(Manjoo, 1978).The blood pressure was noted first before starting the experiment, and they were put under stressful conditions to increase the level of blood pressure. Each of the individuals was given similar medication, and half of them were assigned to pets. When the stress tests were carried out to all the individuals, the ones who agreed to take pets with them showed more exemplary improvements than the ones who did not have them. On the contrary, those who used medication and the dog at the same time did not show much improvement like the ones who had the pet only.

Furthermore, according to another research published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine., when stressed individual associates himself or herself with a friendly dog, the blood chemistry changes.(Manjoo, 1978).The hormones relating to stress decrease by a certain amount, which is faster than most of the drugs used to curb stress. This example shows the many advantages of having dog regarding the psychological aspect of health. Hence, a therapy dog can increase the quality of life and make an individual live longer. Many studies have revealed that pet owners are less susceptible to stress than non-pet owners under same lifestyle conditions.

To conclude, managing stress has been one of the difficult moments an individual can face in his or her life. The health problems initiated are adverse and dangerous. Hence it requires effective management strategy. As seen above, therapy dogs have proven to be more useful in reducing stress in most individuals than drugs. They show affection and comfort to human beings, as well as an excellent company to persons who lack adequate social support. Management of stress using therapy dogs should be mobilized and promoted across the world so that most stressed people can be aware of this therapy. If done effectively, the population under stress will reduce significantly in the future days.

Works Cited

FARHAD MANJOO. “No, I Do Not Want to Pet Your Dog.” N.p.: 1978, n.d. 224-29. Print.

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