July 12, 2019
Dogs And Lupus Patients – The How-To’s of Doggie Help
Dogs have been healers since wolves and humans began bonding thousands of years ago. Our four-legged helpers lead the blind, ease anxiety, and even help prevent an early death. These multi-talented animals also help ease the symptoms of lupus using their amazing superpower healing abilities. Many people across the United States include a dog in their lupus management plan for the numerous advantages the animal brings into treatment.
Dogs are wonderful mood boosters. They never judge their human, never ask questions, and provided unconditional love, even when they aren’t feeling their best. This act alone helps a lupus patient avoid some side effects of the disease. For example, the onset of Raynaud’s phenomenon, a possible lupus side effect, may be caused by stress. Studies prove that playing with, or even petting, a dog increases oxytocin, a stress-reducing chemical, in the brain. Dogs have been proven to reduce depression, a common side effect in people with lupus. Further, experts recommend moderate exercise in humans to increase those feel-good brain chemicals, so regular walks with the pooch helps boost moods. Those with lupus often walk dogs before dusk or dawn, to avoid the sunlight, which has a higher damaging effect for these individuals.
Getting other illnesses with lupus is common as this autoimmune disease slowly breaks down the body’s natural fighting systems. Some dogs help in this area by detecting oncoming or existing illnesses. Dogs have been known to find cancers before human doctors and warn their humans before a seizure happens. Having a dog trained to detect these anomalies within the human body increases the safety of the person with lupus. A human has a higher survival rate after paying attention to a dog communicating an issue, and seeking proper medical attention. The CDC also reports that dog ownership helps reduce heart disease, an added side benefit to those with lupus.
Taking Care of Someone Else
Doctors advise those with lupus to eat a healthy, sensible diet to aid the body in fighting invaders, as the immune system is no longer able to help. Owning a dog, and therefore having another living being for whom to care, helps some of these individuals eat better, especially if living alone. When the human strives to feed the dog healthy food under the table, following suit on top of the table gets easier. Sharing a meal with the dog is also a strong possibility, as there is a full list of healthy food items that are good for human and master. People with lupus also gain a sense of responsibility and reward when caring for a dog. As lupus progresses, everyday activities become harder, and the human cannot complete some common daily activities. Taking care of a dog gives the person a sense of purpose and accomplishment in the face of this sometimes debilitating disease.
Researchers believe dogs have been domesticated for up to 60,000 years. This is centuries of healing power lying patiently at our feet. Everyone, from those with lupus to the most physically fit, benefit from dog ownership. Caring, loyal, and beneficial to humans, the dog is the most sensible, logical, and perfect pet.
Written by Jess Walter