People with sick pets are more likely to develop a mental illness, just as though they were caring for a terminally ill family member, a study has found.
Source: My Send Off
A study by researchers in the United States revealed this, saying that pet-owners can suffer from 'caregiver burden', a term used to describe health problems a person might get when dealing with the suffering of someone who is ill. The study surveyed 238 pet parents, asking them questions in the form of a questionnaire which quizzed them about their feelings in caring for their pet.
Source: Entre chien et nous
Half of the pet owners surveyed had a healthy pet, while the other half had one who was chronically or terminally ill. The results were plain. Family members of very sick animals were more stressed, suffered more from depression and anxiety, and had a poorer quality of life.
According to the research team:
It's not just that caregiver burden is statistically high, it's that it is also statistically significant.
Source: Santé Vet
This study, the first of its kind, will make it easier for veterinarians to deal with and comfort the families of sick animals. Now, the team behind it want to carry on their studies, focusing on veterinarians and other people who work with sick animals, since they see pets in pain every day and can also be horrendously affected by caregiver burden because of this.
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