Residents who have been in the nursing home for quite a long time can experience depression due to their chronic conditions and lack of social interaction. They can spend their entire day worrying about their health and their loved ones. Pets can help divert their attention and shift their focus to more positive thoughts. They provide healthy distractions to lessen the patients’ stress levels.
In addition to anxiety and stress, pet therapy can also improve a patient’s nutritional status by increasing his appetite. As a patient’s mood improves, so does his appetite and outlook in life.