The Benefits of Having Pets in Our MS Lives
Dog, cat, chinchilla, hamster, ferret, fish, bearded dragon, parakeet, pig, monkey – whatever your choice, pets really make us feel good, better even, as we live with chronic illness and disability. Not only can they provide physical assistance, but they also warm our hearts and make living with MS a bit easier.
Pets can help distract from our pain and fatigue
I am reminded of this as the winter temperatures drop and my cat, Hans, now cuddles more. (Yes, even in California, it gets cold. It dropped to the high 30’s the other night, which is cold for us - really, really cold. Brrrr!) There is nothing better than a good snuggle with Hans to warm me up. On the days I do not feel well, Hans just seems to pick up on this and cuddles with me even more, even closer. How wonderful this is as he distracts me from the pain I feel, the burning in my legs, the extreme fatigue I battle.My cat, Hans.Top 7 benefits of having pets in our MS lifeAnd, there is more to it than just the snuggles. Having pets in our lives has a wide range of benefits. They help us cope, lift us from feelings of loneliness and depression, and get us outside for a bit of sunshine and exercise.1. Pets keep us company.Living with a companion animal can help ease feelings of isolation. Having a buddy by your side can make such a big difference in minimizing the feelings of loneliness. Even if the conversation is only one way...2. Pets can help us fight depressionTaking care of pets (walking them, grooming them, petting them, playing with them) takes you out of yourself and helps you feel better. Our pets’ love is unconditional so, good day or bad, they have a lot to give us. Well, that is unless your name is Hans who, when he doesn’t get the treats he persistently begs for in the morning, may not be spreading the love quite as far.
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