There’s something about fur. It’s soft, it’s fuzzy, and it’s comforting. I believe that’s why we’re handed a stuff animal from the time of birth. Having a fur baby around when you’re having a bad day is about as good as it gets. Sure, having a heating pad on your stomach during an IBS flare is great, but having a warm, furry, snuggling puppy or cat lying on your tummy when you’re feeling terrible is one of the best feelings there is. Heating pads don’t talk back to you, well, neither do cats and dogs, but talking to a cat or dog makes more sense than talking to a heating pad. Having a living, breathing, animal hold you close when they know you need it, does wonders for anyone living with a chronic illness.
When I was first diagnosed with IBS, I was having a really hard time. There were times when my Chihuahua, Bella, consoled me so much. I lived alone, and would sometimes be in tears over my IBS symptoms, and Bella would put her little ears back, jump up on my lap (all five pounds of her), start licking my tears, and give me so much love. I would immediately feel a little better! It’s like she knew what I needed at that very moment. My husband and I now have a big, furry cat, Thor, and the first thing I want to do when I’m not feeling well and having an IBS flare, is squeeze him and hold him tight. Why is this you may ask? The science says that having a pet around makes you feel happier & even makes you healthier! According to pet researcher, Dr. Allen R. McConnell, “We found that pet owners, on average, were better off than non-owners, especially when they have a higher-quality relationship with their pets.”
Pets know how to chill. A lot of us IBS sufferers have a problem relaxing, so it’s good to have a pet that actually knows how rest and relax, and can help you slow down a little bit! In addition, petting your cat or dog can lower your blood pressure, helps your body release a relaxation hormone, and cuts down on levels of a stress hormone.
There are so many benefits of having a pet, especially when you have a chronic illness, like IBS. A bonus benefit of having a pet when you have IBS, is that if you pass gas, you can always blame it on them! We’ve all done it! 😉 Sorry not sorry fur babies! I’m happy to celebrate ‘Love Your Pet Day’, because they love us 365 days of the year!