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by Jenny Holt   |   March 6, 2017

Which Animal Therapies Can Improve your Health?

Life with prostate cancer not only affects your physical health, but it can have a deep emotional impact as you battle the illness. It may be difficult to think positively during this time but perhaps a companion may be able to help improve your physical and mental well being? Research shows that the well being of cancer sufferers is greatly improved by animal-assisted therapy. Here are some of the furry friends who may help you take steps towards recovery.

Dog Therapy

The most common companions for animal-assisted therapy are dogs as they are easy to keep as pets aiding long-term recovery. Research has shown that dogs improved the emotional well being of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Positive emotions rose in those who were regularly visited by a dog regularly during treatment, which greatly improved their quality of life. Getting a new pet dog could be a way to get you through the more difficult stages of prostate cancer.

Horse Riding

Horse riding and horse-assisted therapy have been shown to improve cancer patients’ quality of life, both mentally and physically. Research has shown an improvement in strength and quality of life of the breast cancer survivors who took part in a therapeutic horse riding program. You may not feel well enough to ride your new companion but coming into contact with the animal may be all it takes to have a positive impact on your health as you recover from cancer.

Feline Friends

Cats may not be the first animals that spring to mind when thinking of improving your wellbeing but they are frequently used in animal-assisted therapy programs. Caring for and interacting with a cat provides a focus to those with illness and is a non-judgmental presence, which may help when faced with stress, frustration or emotional difficulties after a prostate cancer diagnosis. There are programs in place which allow you some contact with the animal without making the commitment to keeping a pet.

Exotic Animals

Although it may not be something you can do throughout your treatment, a visit to an animal sanctuary can introduce you to some calming animals that you cannot keep as a pet. Therapy with llamas and alpacas provides an unusual type of treatment to those experiencing illness. Other animals, such as elephants, are also known to have a soothing effect, which may help as you make your recovery.

Having a positive outlook can significantly improve your well being after your prostate cancer diagnosis and a furry friend could provide the comfort and physical activity you need to make a speedy recovery.