Pets and People
Pet ownership brings with it very special rewards. Pets are an important part of our emotional support network. They are a source of warmth, trust, unconditional love, and they ask little in return. Studies have shown that the human-animal bond has very positive effects on emotional and physical well-being. These effects include a positive attitude,lower blood pressure, and better managed stress.
People with terminal illnesses face many changes in their lives. They all experience loss of health, while some lose financial stability, employment, and even friends. In these times, the companionship of their pets offers real emotional and psychological bebefits. Their pets’ love and affection are unconditional and dependable. However,sometimes people with terminal illnesses are advised to give up their pet because of certain medical considerations. They may also experience difficulty in maintaining their pets because of the financial and physical care challenges that sometimes result from their conditions.
People with Serious Illnesses and Their Pets
With proper care and understanding, pet owners with chronic and terminal illnesses may be able to keep their animals as long as possible. As long as the animals are healthy, the possibilities of human health risk of pet companionship are minimal. People with HIV disease especially, and those with other serious illnesses, are encouraged to explore this option and together with their physicians and veterinarians make the individually appropriate choice.