Pet, Health Benefits of Having a (cont.)

Almost half of adults confide in their pets, but more than 70 percent of children confide in them. Young people have a companion that they trust on demand and it is very important as they develop.

For many people, pets are a children's children. There is a long history of using that relationship in a therapeutic way and very often animals are used in child psychology.

Very often a young person is more comfortable talking about his or her concerns and fears to an animal in the presence of the psychologist than talking directly to the psychologist. The psychologist could actually ask the young person how the animal might feel in certain situations and, of course, those situations are often similar to what the psychologist believes are important to the child, and with the animal present the child can verbalize these feelings and give insight to the psychologist. There are many programs that use animals for all young people right through adolescence.

Alan, before we wrap things up for today, do you have any final comments for us?

Nature is very important to people and we all benefit from our contact from the living world. We should enjoy our relationship with our companion animals because if we do it right, we all -- human and animal -- benefit.

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