The solution to your depression may lie with your four-legged furry friend. Read on to know how pet therapy can help you tide over a personal crisis
We live in a world where we are constantly on the run to get ahead in life. Managing a zillion daily tasks and keeping your temper in check while patiently waiting in unbearably long hours of traffic, handling projects and making presentations at work, dealing with your boss’ unreasonable mood swings deserves a huge pat on the back. But minutes later, when you see your dog wagging its tail, bouncing up and down, its face lit up, your mood lifts up instantly.
Those of us who own pets know that they keep you happy. Scientific revelations prove that this is not a coincidence but having a pet does have a lot of positive influences on your mental and physical health. A pet may not be able to cure depression or substitute medication but it sure can simmer it down. It’s quite a common phenomenon to be seeing animals like dogs, cats, birds and fish being used in a variety of settings like hospitals, mental institutions, jails and nursing homes.
Dr Praveen Kumar of the Canfel Pet Clinic in Hyderabad says that the use of pets to help tide over depression dates back to some 200 years ago. “The power that pets hold within is really vast. Unlike humans, pets provide unconditional love. You will notice that behaviour in dogs. They are always elated to see you. Dogs also have the tendency to understand when their master is down in the dumps and it starts to lick your face, cuddle with you and with it’s mannerisms it lets you know that it is there for you,” explains Dr Kumar.
Ambika Bhalerao who owns a nine-year-old Labrador admits that it’s just in the way her dog looks at her which automatically makes her feel better. “It’s probably because they don’t seem to bother about the world and are just happy beings. All they do is eat, sleep and eat some more. What they do and how they behave instantly makes you think that things aren’t all that bad in the world,” she says.
While Ambika is currently working in Mumbai, she says her extremely busy routine stresses her out at the end of the day. “I miss having Keno around. So I end up imagining his happy face or look at his pictures when I am really down. I also call my mum and ask her to put him on loudspeaker and I scream out his name. We then have a conversation of our own. That one minute when I am on the phone with him is a stress buster in itself,” she admits.
Kashif Ali who, too, has a labrador says, “Doesn’t matter what kind of a day you had —good or bad. Because when I come home, Aida, my dog, decides it’s been years since she saw me and must give all the love possible in a span of ten seconds. I could be broke, jobless and even homeless but I will be loved unflinchingly. Dogs,definitely good for the soul since time immemorial.”
There’s always the option of adopting a pet from your local animal shelter.
If you feel capable of giving a dog or a cat a good home, the relationship could benefit you as well.
- 101 Dalmatians
About the Author (Author Profile)
Desperately in search of inner peace. Loves traveling. Will write for money. Picky with food but loves her pastas and South-Indian thalis. Highly entertaining. Loves watching gossipy TV shows and good looking vampires. Would like to be abducted by aliens, at least once. Also I am not fat, I am just big-boned