Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - 51

Chapter 3

Everyone deals with loss differently, and the time involved in the grieving process varies with individuals. Children usually get over a loss more
quickly than do adults, but that does not mean they grieve any less. When
dealing with the loss of a pet, children need to understand that most animals
do not live as long as humans, and that the animals do not fear death. The
short life span of some of the smaller animals can be instrumental in educating children about death and loss.
Children need to focus on other activities to get their mind off the loss.
After the child has accepted the loss, it may be time to get a new pet.

petS anD pet therapY
Pet therapy is a type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment
to improve a patient's social, emotional, or cognitive (the process of knowing that includes perception, memory, and judgment) functioning.

therapy Dogs

© Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

For several years, researchers have realized that pets are important in
helping people overcome illness. Pets can help us live longer, happier
lives by lowering our blood pressure. Pets help people to recover from
heart attacks and other serious illnesses. Those people who sit quietly or
read aloud in the presence of a companion animal have lower heart rates.
Reading aloud to pets has also been shown to assist special-needs children
in their efforts to learn to read. Patients recovering from heart surgery
have higher survival rates when they have pets in their homes. Elderly
people who own pets make fewer visits to their doctor's office. Companion
animals are credited with relieving the effects of loneliness. Elderly
persons moving into nursing homes or long-term care facilities often
become passive, agitated, withdrawn, and inactive. Therapy animals can
be helpful in motivating the patients to become more active mentally and
physically, thus keeping them mentally sharp and their bodies healthy.
See Figure 3-5.

Pets can be valuable in helping the elderly
lead longer, happier lives.

Figure 3-5

Small Animals as Pets

51



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition

Contents
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Cover1
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Cover2
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - iii
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - iv
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Contents
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - vi
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - vii
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - viii
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - ix
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - x
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