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Author Topic: Pets and Anxiety?  (Read 103 times)

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Offline idkmanpeepsbecray

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Pets and Anxiety?
« on: June 22, 2014, 03:53:51 AM »
do you have pets?
if you do, do they help calm your anxiety? or the opposite?
i just thought i would put this out there, because i never really hear people on the internet talk about the way pets can affect anxiety, and i just wanted to kind of talk about it, and talk about our pets!! ;D

i have two, quite large dogs; one is a 70-75 lb Pit/Lab mix, who is absolutely without a doubt, my baby girl ^_^ and her name is Alice <3 the other is a 45 lb Pit/possibly Greyhound mix, who's basically the equivalent of a toddler that's gotten into a six pack of redbull (but he's still a really sweet little guy), and his name is Phineas :3
i also have 2 cats, but the one only lives outside because she hates my dogs, and the other really is kind of neutral when it comes to people, she'll let you pet her, but she probably isn't going to come voluntarily sit in your lap. they really don't care about me either way, but i still love them :P

my dogs DEFINITELY help my anxiety a great deal, but they can also make it worse sometimes. for example, i havent been in a very good place the last few days and last night i was really sad and anxious and i was laying on my bedroom floor trying to just relax and breathe and stop crying, and Alice came over and stood over my face and just looked right down at me and sniffed my face, then sat down for a minute, then laid herself down with her body completely pressed up against my side, and she just stayed there until i calmed down. (she's done this quite a few times when i'm starting to get anxious)
and the night before that, Phineas was being especially crazy and annoying, and was really stressing me out because he was just RIPPING around the house like some kind of rabid race horse, and i just got so fed up and i started to cry and got really anxious to the point that i knew if i didn't calm myself down, i would be having an anxiety attack really quickly. finally i had enough and i just sat down on my floor and just breathed, and almost immediately, Phineas stopped, got on my bed, and went to sleep. about 5 minutes later i was still crying and Phineas jumped off the bed and came over to me, and just started licking my cheeks and my eyes and then plopped himself down in my lap, made some kind of whine-play-growl-happy-sound and licked me again, then went back to bed.  :-*

i think Alice can sense when i'm anxious a bit better than Phineas (because i'v had her longer) and i think she actually knows how to react to it, and how to make me feel better? my mom has even said that i should get her certified as a service dog for my anxiety, then i could take her everywhere with me lol

so how do your pets help you? and how do you think doggies know how to make their people feel better?
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Offline an0nym0us

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Re: Pets and Anxiety?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2014, 05:35:17 AM »
I don't know about dogs, but I have two cats who I adore to possibly unhealthy degree. My younger brother says I have the mentality of a crazy cat lady even though I only  have two of them and am still 23.

I know that I love when my cats snuggle up to me and that sometimes holding them can help me feel a bit of comfort in difficult times. Unfortunately for me, they are also more than capable of bringing stress. I have one in particular (a four year-old male) who will eat plastic whenever he can. Garbage bags, grocery bags left on the kitchen floor minutes after returning from the store, things he's managed to drag out of the bathroom wastebasket. It would be more simple to eliminate plastic temptation if I lived alone but I don't and he (my cat) is often able to find some relatively easily. One of the downsides to being an obviously nervous person is that people tend to assume all of your requests are born out of some sort of unhealthy neurosis and safe to ignore. They keep assuring me that cats are smart enough to avoid eating things that will kill them. They're underestimating my cat, even the vet was impressed by his general lack of intelligence. I've had to take him to the vet twice in the past year for digestive issues caused by his... indiscriminate eating habits. It causes a great deal of anxiety. He also chews up power cords whenever he finds them and defecates on my favorite chair every time he's displeased as a gentle reminder that I've done something wildly inappropriate and NOT the sort of thing that decent civilized people should engage in. Like giving him his flea medication every month.

That being said I love them to death, I'm glad I have them. Their good aspects outweigh their bad.
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Offline idkmanpeepsbecray

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Re: Pets and Anxiety?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2014, 02:23:43 PM »
oh my! i can honestly say i have never heard of a cat that chews things up like that!
i feel your pain when it comes to the flea medication, all my pets have figured out when it's time for it and they hide or run around and avoid me!
it seems like boy dogs and cats have more of a tendency to do dumb things, don't you think? my boy dog has a shoe fetish, and an unhealthy obsession with chasing, tackling, and trying to play with chickens and ducks...i'v had to replace every pair of shoes i own, and a few pairs of my mom and brothers shoes...And been yelled at by my neighbors because he (my dog) got out and tackled their duck, which they thought he was trying to kill; when in reality he tackled it, and was nibbling on it trying to get it to play (he was very confused as to why the duck didn't want to play with him) the same way he does with my cat. Even though the neighbors duck, my grandparents rooster and three hens, are all completely fine despite being laid on by a 45 pound puppy, it's still extremely anxiety inducing >.<
but we still love him, and the good definitely outweighs the bad
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"life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant."

Offline Kissa

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Re: Pets and Anxiety?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2014, 09:46:45 PM »
Let me start off by saying I'm probably a crazy cat lady but I am married! Having the pets for us goes way beyond the normal pet owner. We currently have 11. We are up to a total of 14 various kinds at one point. They are my cats 9, and his dogs 2. Originally we got the cats because he didn't want me smooching him all the time. (I'm the type that likes a lot of physical contact since I never had much growing up)

Now I am finding I'm in a tough spot. My cats come to me when I feel down, its like they just know. But there are days when I am really anxious and on edge, the dogs barking and the cats getting under my feet will set me off. The oldest 2 are having trouble with potting so they tend to potty on the floor. 9 times out of 10 I don't mind, I just clean it up. But that one time out of 10 I could just scream. I have decided no more fur babies until we get it down to a smaller number. But I will never live without.

So see, more times than not they help me (and hubby's anxiety) but there are still times I could just scream! I think that's probably normal.
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Just because I understand an acknowledge what I am worrying about is silly, doesn't mean I'm able to stop worrying about it.
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