Yes, even the homeless can benefit from having a pet
Apr 19, 2019
| BBC – A homeless man has been reunited with his pet rat which disappeared earlier this month.
Chris, 59, is a well-known figure in downtown Sydney, Australia, where the rat, called Lucy, is usually curled up on a box in front of him.
But one day his little companion disappeared as he stepped away to take a toilet break.
After a social media appeal, New South Wales police tracked down the missing pet and reunited the pair on Thursday.
Chris had assumed Lucy was stolen after she disappeared from the milk crate where he’d left her.
Desperate to find her, he put a note up on his box, asking if anyone had seen her.
What followed was an outpouring of support, with people posting their own pictures of the pair … Read more.
Pets help older adults cope with health issues, get active and connect with others
April 3, 2019
Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan – A curled-up cat, a tail-wagging dog, a chirping parakeet or even a serene goldfish may help older adults cope with mental and physical health issues, according to a new national poll.
While pets come with benefits, they can also bring concerns, and some people may even put their animals’ needs ahead of their own health, the poll finds.
In all, 55 percent of adults ages 50 to 80 have a pet, according to the new findings — and more than half of those have multiple pets. More than three-quarters of pet owners say their animals reduce their stress, and nearly as many say pets give them a sense of purpose.
But 18 percent also said having a pet or pets puts a strain on their budget.
Two-thirds of all pet owners, and 78 percent of dog owners, said their pet helps them be physically active, according to the new findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging.
The poll is conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, and sponsored by AARP and Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center.
For those who reported that their health was fair or poor, pet ownership appeared to offer even more benefits.
More than 70 percent of these older adults said their pet helps them cope with physical or emotional symptoms, and 46 percent said their pets help take their mind off of pain.
“We have long known that pets are a common and naturally occurring source of support,” says Cathleen Connell, Ph.D., a professor at the U-M School of Public Health who has studied the role of companion animals in older adults’ lives.
“Although the benefits of pets are significant, social connections and activities with friends and family are also key to quality of life across the lifespan…” Read more.
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