There are many physical, social, and mental health benefits of pet ownership. Animals have been known to reduce stress and tension. Caring for a pet also increases feelings of social support and care. 

A person with a beloved pet is more apt to take care of themselves which builds their self-esteem. Confidence can increase as well. Owning a pet also helps reduce feelings of isolation. If your pet is a dog or a cat, they will not let you go long without attention. 

If you are interested in getting a pet, but are concerned about caring for it, there are devices available to assist you in independently caring for your pet. Foam grips that are often used on utensils can also be used on cat toys, fish nets and pet brushes. Puffy paint or bump dots can be used on items to distinguish between foods such as cat food vs. dog food. Reminder clocks and apps can be used to alert you when to feed or walk your pet. Airtight or clear cereal containers can hold pet food that can be kept in an easy to reach place. There are also automatic feeders, waterers, and even litter pans. 

Raised food and water bowls and long handled waste scoops are helpful for pet owners with mobility barriers. Ramps and stairs can be used for animals to get into a car or on the furniture or bed. This saves you from bending over or lifting your pet, which can throw you off balance.

If you are interested in learning about the differences between companion animals, Emotional Support Animals or Service Animals, contact Carolyn Boyle, LLMSW, Assistive Technology Coordinator and Certified ADA Coordinator at CareWell Services 269-986-4280.

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