Animals and our Health
A strong link has been identified between health and animals. Cuddling your kitty or patting your pooch is said to reduce blood pressure and add to the general well being of pet owners. The link is considered so beneficial that it is a common sight these days to see animals visiting retirement homes where the residents enjoy interacting with dogs cats and even parrots. Perhaps contact with the visiting pets reminds them of their younger days and the pets they used to have. Whatever the reason the effect has been proved to lift spirits and make a most enjoyable interlude for the residents of many of the retirement homes where animals have come to visit.
Recently I visited an animal farm called Farmtastic that is near Chippenham in Wiltshire. Here the owners Dave and Lizzie have got together a great collection of beasts from cuddly rabbits to Alpaca and even a tame deer that will gratefully nibble food from your hand. With goats and sheep and chickens and pigs and even a Barn owl it really is a great place to visit. The animals are friendly too and will take food from visitor’s hands. It is a great way to introduce children to animals and for the adults too to feel the benefit of a day spent communing with charming and gentle creatures. After a particularly busy week I know I felt refreshed and reinvigorated after my visit. Comments that I read about Farmtastic that visitors had left on Trip Advisor mentioned the fact that it was possible to pet the creatures and to feed them, unlike so many other places where visitors were not encouraged to interact with the animals. Farmtastic offers a great day out with kite flying, picnic spots, animal feeding, horse grooming, alpaca walking, hot food, tea, coffee and drinks and it is free to park.
There is no doubt that being with animals is soothing to the soul and there is scientific proof that it does lower blood pressure. I can remember when a friend of mine was very ill in hospital, taking my dog to see her on the ward. She used to look after him every day for me when I was at work. The sister who sanctioned the visit told me that getting a visit from a much-loved pet often had a great effect on patients who had been missing their animals. So there is clearly a link between well-being and the animals that we love. So the next time you are feeling stressed you could visit an animal farm like Farmtastic or give your hound a hug and see if it makes a difference!
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