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Emotional Support by a Pet (Dog or Cat) as Treatment of Depression and Other Psychological Problems

Abstract: For many people with psychological problems, pets are a valuable support.

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Emotional Support by a Pet (Dog or Cat) as Treatment of Depression and Other Psychological Problems

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Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 23 Aug 2008.

What do you think of a pet (dog or cat) for a client with depression or other psychological problems? What is the effect of a pet for emotional support and self-care? Can a pet be a treatment method?


Many clients say that taking care of a pet is one of the best methods of emotional support and stress relief. It helps you get activated and may force you to take some exercise (walking the dog) on a regular schedule. Talking about pets and pet care can be a good start if you want to communicate with other people. Many clients with eating disorder or a personality disorder love a pet because it can be a source of unconditional love and companionship.

Having a pet is not possible, or a good choice, for everybody. Allergies, other medical reasons or lack of money might exclude this option for you. You also have to consider a long-term responsibility for the animal. It must not be a substitute for human beings and s and must not be used as as the object of personal frustration and aggression.

If you do not want (or are not allowed) to have a pet you might think about watching animals in nature, reading about animals or watching a film on TV...

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