This blog post will explore the advantages both mentally and physically that owning a pet can have on someone with a disability such as arthritis.
Having a disability can affect your everyday life, harming your heart rate, communication and causing depression. However, a furry companion like a cat or dog can help to reverse the negative impact.
Owning a pet positively influences two main aspects of life, mood and health, which means pets affect the body in terms of decreasing rates of depression, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Let's explore these benefits in more detail…
Pets and Their Effect on Blood Pressure and Arthritis
With arthritis, inflammation can occur in joints, constricting arteries and reducing the rate blood can flow through the body to supply muscles with oxygen. The restricted flow leads to increased blood pressure, which is troubling for arthritis patients as they are at a 50% higher risk of heart attacks.
So, it's essential to reduce blood pressure, and pets can help. Pets have therapeutic calming auras. When a pet is in your lap, you talk, stroke and nestle into its warmth, forgetting your worries, which decreases your heart rate. When you are tired or nervous, it's nice to have a companion.
Pets can make a person feel safe in their home or when out and about; animals can be a security blanket, guard the person or their belongings, and be a protective barrier or conversation starter. Feeling safe and secure can also lower levels of anxiety and stress that heighten blood pressure.
Pets and Their Effect on Cholesterol Levels and Arthritis
Those with rheumatoid arthritis are at high risk of heart disease, 50% to 70% higher, and cholesterol is a contributing factor. Having elevated cholesterol levels in the body increases pain within joints and other tendon complications.
You may have high cholesterol levels due to long periods of stress, a lack of exercise or a poor diet containing too many saturated fats. Studies have shown that pets decrease the triglycerides present in the body. Triglycerides are the three fatty acids that contribute to high cholesterol levels.
Reducing cholesterol in the body can help keep heart disease at bay. To lower cholesterol levels, you should exercise daily for at least 30 minutes, and having a pet is an excellent excuse to go for a walk and is undoubtedly a great benefit. Having a pet with you can reduce the stress or anxiety you may feel when out walking.
Pets and Their Effect on Cognitive Behaviour/Depression
It's estimated that up to 41% of disabled adults have depression, which is staggeringly high, and there is no one cure to suit all. Many factors cause depression in a person's life, and it can be a struggle to help change a person's mindset.
The companionship of a pet, a being they need to care for, can give a disabled person the necessary motivation and responsibility for a positive change. Caring for others can come more naturally than caring for yourself when struggling with depression, so an animal's natural temperament to play and exercise can have promising long-lasting effects on their mental state.
Pets Effect on the Elderly
Pet owners over 65 visit their doctor 30% fewer times than non-pet owners. There's no clear-cut reason, but the benefits of reduced stress, increased exercise, and companionship all help play their role.
Some Tenura Products that Make Pet Ownership Easier for the Disabled:
Tenura products can help those who have weak grip strength or conditions like arthritis care for their pets.
Tenura Extreme Grip Mats
When it comes to feeding your pet, they tend to be pretty eager, diving headfirst into their food bowl, knocking it around the floor, with no worry about the mess they create. You can prevent this previously inevitable mess by placing the pet's food bowl onto a Tenura Extreme mat. Tenura Extreme mats stop the food bowl from sliding across the floor or getting tipped over.
Nothing is sacred when you have a pet, they wonder where they please, and cats especially seem to find themselves upon the cabinets displaying your favourite ornaments. Instead of watching their next steps with fright, place your vases and such on a Tenura Extreme mat. The objects stick to Tenura mats, so the next time your cat is up there, you won't need to worry nor tidy up anything broken.
Tenura Grip Roll
You can line underneath pet products such as litter trays, scratching posts and other large products that unwantedly move. Just cut Tenura silicone grip roll to size and place it between the floor and pet accessory.
Tenura Grip Strips
During walks, you may find that the lead is tricky to keep a hold of, and it's uncomfortable. You can instantly improve these issues by twisting Tenura grip strips around the lead's handle. Grip strips add a layer of cushioning silicone comfort with grip-enhancing properties that stops the lead from sliding out of your hand.
Similarly, you may wrap Tenura grip strips around the brushes handle when grooming your pet, which aids your grip, giving you more control. Brush handles can be thin and difficult to grasp, so build up a few layers of Tenura grip strips to increase the handle's width, which is a helpful idea for those with arthritis or other conditions that limit dexterity or strength of grip.
Extensive research into the animal should be completed before being housed, as not all animals/breeds will be appropriate. It's very much dependent on the person's specific disability needs.
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