[RA & Pets] More Than Just Our Furry Friends or Children

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rheumatoid arthritis petsMore Than Just Our Furry Friends or Children

by Niki Wyre


For those of us lucky enough to own pets or should I say have pets that own us, we already know how wonderful they can be. Our furry babies are more than cute shaggy or soft faces that can help make us smile or melt at their unsolicited cuddles.

There have been studies over the years that have shown that pets can significantly raise the moods and lower discomfort in people with chronic illnesses or in long term care. So of course when I find myself in the worst levels of pain or in a flare, I noticed that my pets (both dogs and kittens) will glue themselves to my side. If I cry, my Pomeranian will curl up and lick my face. If I curl into a fetal position, the kittens will butt their heads against me and curl up with me.

It is truly amazing how intuitive our furry friends can be. They know when we need cuddles or kisses or just contact. They seem to sense when we can’t be trampled all over. On the other side, the even seem to know when we are well enough to play with them. At night I sleep with two kittens and a Pomeranian in bed with Murphy and I.

Have you noticed how much better you feel by just petting your furry friend? Statistics show that petting animals are one of the best forms of therapy. In fact there are many non profit charity organizations that exist just to train therapy pets and bring them into settings like children hospitals or nursing homes. They have been found to be quite successful working with the elderly or the chronically ill that are homebound, because the thing the help cure the most is loneliness, one of the major contributors to depression in these individuals. They’ve been known to sense when their owners are about to have a seizure or mental episode. They even now have dogs trained to sense bees or peanuts or other items that cause children that are allergic to go into anaphylactic shock.

I wanted to share with you some pet friendly quotes I came across:

“There are few things in life more heartwarming that to be welcomed by a cat.”
-Tay Hohoff

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself”
-Josh Billings

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
-Roger Caras

Next time you are feeling blue or lonely just reach out to your pet. They know what you need and are more than happy to give it to in exchange for nothing at all.. though I’m sure they would appreciate a treat or two in reward. How amazing are these friends of ours? Okay I’m off to get some cuddles of my own.


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