The benefits of living with a pet

Pets may add to their owners’ physical and mental well-being
Benefits of owning a pet


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Pets are a joy for most people. There are many benefits to owning a pet, from the pleasure you get from holding them to the exercise you get from walking them. If you are considering getting a pet, or curious how a pet may help you as you move along your multiple sclerosis (MS) path, here are some ways a pet can enrich your life.

Petting an animal can be calming

Calm your nerves

Pets are more than just fun to play with. Studies have shown that they help you de-stress. If you regularly experience stress, a pet could help calm and relax you. Simply holding or stroking a pet can be calming to many people. A pet can also be someone you talk out loud to about how you feel that won't judge you.

Walking your dog helps you stay active

Stay active

Taking a dog for a walk could be doing more than just giving you some fresh air. Dog owners who walk their pet regularly tend to do it for many years, and the extra exercise could be good for you. It's important to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise.

It's also important to consider the type of animal you get. Some dogs are more active than others, while cats tend to be more relaxed in their physical activity. Do some research and look into the type of animal that's right for you. Also consider the activity level you'd like to have, and talk to your doctor about any exercise goals a pet could help you achieve.

Service animals can help you perform daily tasks

Get around

If you have mobility and balance issues, you might be able to get a service animal. Service animals are trained to work with you and help you perform daily tasks, such as navigating a subway and getting in and out of bed. They may also be specially trained to calm you down if you're having an anxiety attack.

Service dogs may not be for everyone, as they can be expensive and are not covered by insurance. However, they can provide an essential service for people with mobility issues, and they make an excellent best friend. To find out more about service dogs and getting one yourself, visit:

From dogs and cats to fish and birds, owning an animal may help people with MS in a variety of ways. Keep in mind that different animals have different energy levels and different needs. Have fun with your new best friend, and get ready to enjoy the power of a pet!


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