Keeping a pet can be good for us. Pets can provide companionship if we are lonely, and can encourage us to take more physical exercise. Walking a dog can provide much needed physical exercise and social interaction. Petting an animal has been shown to decrease blood pressure and heart rate, providing a calming effect; even watching fish in an aquarium can be beneficial. People who own pets are less likely to suffer from feelings of loneliness and isolation – beneficial in preventing depression – and are less likely to experience feelings of alienation.
This site has information and advice, including what to do if you cannot look after your pet during a hospital admission.
Pets for elderly and the terminally ill – The Cinnamon Trust
Has a network of volunteers to provide help such as walking the dog for an owner who can no longer do so. It has a national pet fostering service for a pet whose owner goes into hospital, and also provides long term care for a pet whose owner has died or moved into accommodation that does not accept pets. The Trust maintains a register of pet-friendly care homes and sheltered housing.
Telephone: 01736 757 900