Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Pet therapy wins more popularity whereas Russia uses only leeches

British doctors recommend stressed-out patients to have a pet. Prescribing dogs or cats has become quite popular in therapy nowadays.

A pilot project “Pets instead of Pills” was launched in London. Patients of national hospitals were given 1,000 pounds to spend the money on pets, pet food or veterinary bills. Meticulous Britons calculated quickly that dogs and cats could save millions of pounds a year for the national healthcare system. Numerous research works conducted by respectable Western universities have repeatedly proved that dogs and cats can be wonderful therapists.

For instance, specialists of the University of Pennsylvania came to conclusion that pet owners have a lower cholesterol level (by two percent) in comparison with others. In addition, it was said that pet owners are more likely to survive heart attacks.

Researchers of the Texas Veterinary College found that elderly people who keep dogs visit doctors less frequently (by 21 percent) than their peers without dogs. Hypertensive patients have a lower blood pressure after spending some time with their pets. European and American scientists made a sensational conclusion: children who had contacts with pets from the first months of their lives suffer from asthma and allergy less. Pets are more efficient than medications to help people overcome stresses and depression. Even the dirt, which pets bring with them, turns out “wholesome”, for it strengthens the human immune system.

Pet treatment is taken seriously in many foreign countries. A UK-based charitable organization Pet Therapists exists for over 20 years and it comprises above 3,500 dogs and 90 cats. Hospitals, retirement homes and hospices use their services. A team of 12 dogs works in a clinic with the University of California in Los Angeles. There was a case when a shepherd dog approached a patient who had underwent a heart operation and was in a coma. The dog stretched itself nearby and licked the woman’s hand. The 65-year-old woman came to her senses and started to recover. In the New York clinic Mount Sinai dogs were included on the list of staff that helped patients with cranial spinal injuries. There are firms that train dog doctors in the USA.

In Russia leeches alone were officially acknowledged. Treatment by horses, dolphins and dogs is mainly used by psychologists, coaches and trainers, but not by doctors. But wonders never cease. In the cynological centre near Moscow dogs heal children with cerebral spastic infantile paralysis so successfully that these children do not need conventional medicines. Cynologists remember the story of Nadya Melnikova who could never leave the wheelchair. But once when a dog must be led in a game, the girl got up and said “I’ll do it myself!” It is not the only case in the centre.

“Children with serious congenital diseases feel dependent on adults and they are always overprotected. Spending their time with dogs they learn to be leaders, they increase their self-esteem, because it is a strong and clever animal that obeys them. Children do not feel shy because of their disease and reveal themselves. There are very gifted children among them,” said Yuri Karepin, the director of the cynological centre.

It is an open secret that cat-keepers live longer and fall ill on rare occasions. Their nervous system is stronger than that of other people. However, no scientists can unravel the secret of healing pets. There is a hypothesis that the electromagnetic radiation that is characteristic of any living matter (biofield) enables humans and animals to influence each other. It is not the force of radiation but the information (frequency spectrum) it contains that is essential. This frequency resonance accounts for the healing effect. So when you look after your pet, you cure your diseases, enhance the immunity and have a therapy session.

“When we stroke a dog, our body produces endorphins (hormones of happiness) more intensely. People suffer less pain, forget about their diseases and recover more quickly,” Karepin said. “In the USA and Canada there are open days at hospitals when post-operational patients communicate with animals. After spending some time with pets, patients recover fast. Finally, we have to walk with a dog twice a day, whether we want it or not, that means that instead of lazing around on a couch we move for an hour at least. That’s what all doctors recommend.”

Although cats and dogs are considered to be the best doctors, birds, tortoises, hamsters, aquarian fish and even piglets can also heal people. Scientists from Goteborg University reported on the healing effects of piglets.

“Even-tempered and non-aggressive animals influence human health in a more beneficial way than animals nervous by nature like Dobermann pinschers,” said Sergei Sereda, the President of the Association of Veterinary Practitioners. “But owners do not know that. Some people keep Dobermann pinschers, others love poodles or bulldogs. Everyone says how their pet has cured them of various diseases. It was proven that in family with any kind of pet children have nervous breakdowns and fall ill less frequently. The breed or species are of no importance. The main thing is that a pet is beloved and desired.”

Arguments and Facts

Translated by Julia Bulygina

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