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The Malay Mail
Pet keeping can help make life's challenges bearable
27 Jul 2006
Anthony Thanasayan, President, Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy
THE bond between humans and other animals has untold benefits especially among the disabled and elderly populations.
Animals have assisted humans in profound ways such as improving a patient's cognitive or physical functioning usually from a one-on-one relationship to enhancing a person’s sense of well-being and reducing loneliness.
Proximity with animals such as touching and caring for them helps to bring about positive reinforcement in people’s lives.
We know of elderly and disabled people and others in Malaysia who through their successful partnerships with animals now have less need for medication, have much calmer personalities and have cut down on suicide attempts.
Bonding with pets have also helped pet-lovers achieve other goals such as improving communication, building trust, decreasing stress and anxiety and perhaps most important of all, motivating themselves.
All of which are some of the negative factors that drive people to suicide.
Pets are also inexpensive and more accessible to everyone.
Having said all these, those considering to take on a pet must realise that keeping an animal is a lifetime responsibility to the pet, neighbours and the laws that govern pet-keeping.
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