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How Pets Can Help Improve Your Life

“Animal lovers get it. We understand that pets are part of the family and that they hold special places in our hearts.” – Sarah Alexander-Georgeson, patient and Life Effects contributor.

Most of us have heard, or experienced first-hand how spending time with animals can improve your mood, lower your stress levels, and sometimes even soothe physical and emotional pain.

Over at Life Effects, Teva’s digital portal that offers support for patients and caregivers, we’ve rounded up some cool facts and heartwarming stories about the power of pet therapy.

Do animals make us better people? 

Jonathan Rottenberg is a psychologist who personally struggled with severe depression. In his article, How Pets Can Help Fight Depression, he talks about his dog, Ollie:

“Ollie didn’t seem to mind the ugly truth. I may have been too depressed to talk to anyone or to do anything. But I was never too depressed to cuddle with Ollie.

Ollie was the ultimate security blanket when things felt totally hopeless. Just petting his head and listening to him breathe made me feel a little better.

The weirdest thing of all? I never explained myself to Ollie. Yet, I felt like he understood what I was going through.”

And Jon’s story is not unusual.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pets:

  • Teach us compassion and a sense of responsibility.
  • Decrease stress.
  • Help us to feel less alone.
  • Encourage us to exercise.
  • Give us opportunities to socialize.

Read more at How Pets Can Help Fight Depression

Soothing physical and emotional pain

“She was the first one to greet me in the morning, right by my side when I woke up each day. She was the smile when I walked in the door from a long day of work, and she laid by my side for the even longer days of migraine. She was my family, and there was a piece of my heart that only existed for her.” – Sarah Rathsack, migraine patient and Life Effects contributor

Read more Losing My Migraine Companion

Offering zero judgment and unconditional love

“I never have to explain anything to her. I don’t need to tell her why I’m awake or what I need. Our relationship is blissfully uncomplicated. There was no guilt about disturbing her either, as she slept loads during the day. So, I’d make a cup of tea, pop her on the couch beside me, and we’d watch TV until I felt better.” - Claire Easthem, patient and Life Effects contributor.

Read more: Can Dogs Help with Stress and Anxiety?

Do you have a pet that has improved your life? Click on the right and share this article on social media and add your own pics or story.

For more tips, tricks and stories on navigating life as a chronic patient or caregiver, visit Teva Life Effects.

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NPS-ALL-NP-00658 AUGUST 2022