Fibro and pets??

Does anyone else feel that owning a pet (especially a dog or cat) is beneficial to fibro sufferers? I have noticed that a lot of you on this site seem to own dogs and have a great fondness for them. I find that my dog (a 7yr old golden lab) helps me a lot --- taking her out for short walks each day gives me not only some exercise and fresh air (come rain or shine) but also some social contact with fellow dog-walkers. She also does not judge me or criticise me when I feel aches or pains, and seems to sense when I am feeling "low" and does her best to cheer me up, or complain when I need to take a rest. Just thought you all may have some ideas about this -- love to hear your opinions -- hope today is a good day for you all:) xx

27 Replies

  • I have a chocolate lab , I can't walk her but she is still a blessing all the same . My husband sees to the walks but she's great company , cheers me up because she's just so daft and keeps me company .

    We also have a disabled rescue cat , a rabbit and 5 hens ( also rescue ) . It's like a mini zoo here lol. Sadly the looking after mainly falls to hubby although I help out when I can . I am a soft touch for animals in need ..... hubby did draw the line at me rescuing 2 nanny goats though , he said there just aren't enough hours in the day to look after them and me and not enough money in the kitty to feed them :)


  • hi! we too have a chocolate lab. i personally dont walk him, hubby and kids do that, but when hubby at work and kids at school its just me and him. i talk to him. i play with him. personally for me its the feelgoodfactor! itsproven that pets esp. dogs and cats keep you calmer which is less stress - and that can only be a good thing for FM! have a great day xx

  • They are such strong dogs aren't they westgate ? Molly would have me off my feet in an instant if I tried to walk her !

    I wouldn't be without her though , she loves to play and is always bringing me her teddy bear to play with ! She really cheers me up on bad days too and loves a cuddle.


  • I've had to put my doberman/husky Sassy up for rehoming as I couldn't give her a good quality of life - that has broken my heart but it is for the best.

    I still have my daughter's dogs with me, Poppy is a collie/whippet cross and Berry is a Staffy, they are so affectionate and accepting.

    I couldn't imagine my life without dogs; but my next dog will have to be a little one as I just can't exercise a bigger one.

    Julie xx

  • julie, i understand how you feel i had a springer spaniel that i had to re-home. i could no longer give her the exercise she needed and she became destructive. i miss her every day, but i know she has gone to a good home, she now lives on a farm. and is very happy.

    it is so hard to give up a pet, as they are a part of the family. you did the right thing though, as did i xx

  • Yes I had to give my dog up for rehoming as I couldn't give him the quality of Life But ha now lives nearby and is very happy with his new family it was very hard giving him up it has become easier but I miss having a dog I am on the look out for a tiny dog that needs little exercise when you live on your own its very hard to live without an animal I did think about a cat but the main road i live near the traffic speeds by and a lot of cats have been killed by fast cars even thought the speed limit is 30mph

  • have you tried contacting another rescue for your dog? there are many out there. Plus if you need another dog, you don;t need to go for little dogs, some of the little dogs need the same exercise as larger dogs. Have you thought about a retired greyhound, or a lurcher? although they are big you only have to give them either 2 30min walks, or 1 hour walk, If they have longer then it can be bad for their legs

  • Aw that's sad Julie , but for the best . I used to have Dobies ( and I had Huskies at one point ) and they do need an awful lot of exercise . You do have to put your health first and you've done the best thing for the dog too . Hugs xx

    I only wanted a little dog, but Molly was at risk of being put down so we took her in . If it had been just me I couldn't have because she really is a strong dog and needs walks twice a day .


    Just had a look at the link for her , she looks a beauty xx

  • I have a deaf Dalmatian, we saved her from being put down as they put the deaf ones down due to difficulty with training and unpredictable nature. We have taught her sign language and she is very good with anyone she knows but a bit wary of strangers, it's been hard work but couldn't be without her. I can moan all day about aches and pains and she doesn't bat an eyelid lol, not sure what the sign is for fibro. I try and take her on a good day but generally my husband walks her, I found a really good way of stopping her pulling is by using a Dogmatic, it's like a halty but made specifically for each breed, they are available on line and it means that a dog that is very strong can be controlled without pulling your back, ideal for a little gentle exercise. Poppy came from Dalmatian Rescue so anyone requiring a friend, the number is 01255 220649 a lovely lady called Jan, however she does rehome other breeds too,.. X

  • hi I have a black lab she will be 5 on monday I dont walk her my hubby and son do that but she is so loving I had very bad day yesterday she sat by the sofa that I was on with her head on my lap when I moved she was behind me she makes me smile bless her take care love beth xx

  • I just sat eating lunch with Berry cuddled up by my feet and Poppy's head on my lap and her tail wagging each time I stroked her, a recorded Russell Howard's Good News (now I wouldn't kick him out of bed lol) on the telly .... total bliss. xx

  • Hi

    YES YES YES I miss my Zachary so much and cant wait to get well enough to have another dog. His legs failed just after mine and had to be put down at 8. He was with me from 3 1/2 and had 4 owners by that age as he was shall we say demanding! He had also been beaten and lost his eye through ill treatment. I have my name on a puppy list as feel I now need the challenge of a new life, one that I can train from scratch. I have to work on getting my legs back first! After Zack died (3 days after) a cat moved in with us! He is lovely but i do miss Z still. I am too sick to go out often, but I do get alot of animal visitors as I am known for helping animals with energy therapies. Owners bring me their pets when they still have pain after visiting vets or sometimes just because they cant understand or effect their behaviour. Ive had all sorts to sort out, from lizards who are not human friendly to very large neopolitan mastiffs who have developed anti social behaviour!

    I love them all and connect with each and every one.

    Like some have said, they dont judge us, and in my mind we should show them the same!

    Z is giving me a hug in my teeny profile photo. I smile when I think of him despite him having passed nearly a year ago.

    Got to go tickle the cat now, but yes how right it is that if you can love an animal it always gives you that back ten fold!

    TTFN colourfull thoughts NN :)

  • I own a pet cavalier king charles best present heather, my friends bought it for me for my 50th bday last yr. i treat her like a baby,got no children she follows me everywere even in the toilet. or shower she just sit there waiting for me to come out, all she wants is to cuddle up on your lap for cuddles and kisses. if your think off getting a dog cavalier king charles got great. sonest about them so calm. just got on a bredders web sit and look up and there will tell you all about them if you get one let me know she would be good for you. dont have to take them out everyday just them go out into the garden dont need a lot off excerise like some dogs do. good luck ellndd

  • I have 2 rough collies (age 7 & 2), they are the best pals ever, always there for a chat or a moan lol Sadly I cant brush and walk them like I used to so thats left to family members but I can cuddle and give treats :)

  • They are such gorgeous dogs, I love the way their coats move as they walk and run, there is someone near to me who has 5 and exercises them on the field behind my house at about 5pm everyday - I love to watch them - they are so vocal too ...barking from the sheer joy of being alive :-)

    Julie xx

  • My boys (dogs) get me out of bed in the morning as if I don't get up they cant go out. They are my companions and help me to keep calm and although they sometimes disturb my sleep that is a little thing against what benefits they give me.

  • I have a golden retreiver, nearly 7 years old and she's getting in the habit lately if I'm sitting inside or outside in the sun, of putting her head on my lap a lot, I think she is trying to soothe me, she used to always just try and play fetch with her balls, and still does but it seems she knows I'm not well and wants to soothe me, my little terrier cross who was nearly 15 died of old age a few weeks ago, so it is possible of course she misses her a lot, we surely do, you never realize how much they actually do for you both mentally and physically until they are gone, My daughter brought home two kittens last year to cheer me up when I became ill and was medically retired, I thought nothing would ever lift my spirits but they did, and still do, I also have an old 14 year old cat, we've to keep an eye on as sometimes she goes up on one of my posts and forgets how to get down, her sister died from old age last year, she kept going around the yard the day she died,smelling everywhere like mad and calling for her, to see where she was at, and even went up a tree to look about to try and see where she was, she talks to us, esp if she wants milk, she's real funny they all are, I feel sorry for people who don't get what animals are about, I would find it hard to be without them, if Blackie (the older cat), or Jessie the younger cat goes up on the roof and cant get down (which they are getting into the habit of lately), Eddie, Jessies brother, comes in miawing like mad to tell us, honest ..

  • Hi, I think having pets is very beneficial for fibro. My little cat Fe-Fe made me giggle yesterday when she went in the rabbit's hutch and used the sawdust as a litter tray! She looked very pleased with herself when she came out! Not so beneficial was when the rabbit escaped this morning into next door's garden and my son (who is 5), my neighbours (who are in their 80's) and myself were chasing her around for 40 minutes. I adore animals (and am a strict veggie due to this!) and they make us feel better if only for a short while. A cat's purr is a very southing sound when we are down. Enjoy them! x

  • We have two dogs and they are a terrific comfort to me with Fibro etc. They know when I'm having a bad day, they're always more affectionate then. They know when I'm having a good day, they head for their leads! I wouldn't be without them for anything. They sense things us mere humans are oblivious to, they could teach the human race a thing or two. A dog lying at your feet, or looking at you with their deep brown eyes helps every time. Our two dogs are both 6 years old but behave like playful puppies, they are a joy to have around the family home. :D

  • Hi, i have 2 Labs,1 Black and 1 Chocolate they are my world i love them with all my heart they are my best friends and keep me going through the good times and the not so good times, i adore all animals and have 2 cats and 2 Guinea Pigs also! A life without my beloved dogs would be no life at all Love Della xxx

  • I'd never had a dog before I got my cockapoo nearly 2 years ago.He's a mad bouncy,licky bundle of mischievous love and has definitely kept me going! I've had a few days where I'd have been in bed all day if it wasn't for having to look after Marley (yes,it's an appropriate name for him!) So yes he's my buddy and it was the best thing I did when I got him (even if he does nearly kill me when he insists on sitting on my head in the mornings and then washes me all over with his tongue!! )

  • I agree that pets make a real difference - I only got my dog after my diagnosis in March - and our lovely Golden Retriever joined us in the same month. I picked up a facebook message from a friend and I re-homed him 2 days later - just before his first birthday. He was with a nice family who couldn't manage him and give him the attention and exercise he needed. He really helped to make me pick myself up and have a word with myself! I went out because he needed to have a walk - and it benefited me too. He stopped me from feeling lonely and I can't imagine our home without him!

  • hi its so nice to talk about our pets, keeps our minds of fibro, i have always had pets until 8 years ago , when we lost our dog bobby at 17 years , after that i got a full time job and we had a cat called cassey , who was a boy cat but the last owners thought he was a girl , hens the name cassey, we had him for 15 years and he love his toy duck , which has cost me a fortune over the years as i had to keep replacing then as he wore them out at £18 a time , he would not play with nothing else,sadly we had to have him put down two weeks ago, well i had to give up my job due to fibro i loved it there but it was heavy work and in a high dependency unit, , last year i got lonely and fed up so, my dad who is 82 wanted to go and visit a animal shelter which takes in all sorts of animal , after looking at them all we went round the dogs and i fell in love with my millie, shes small and i can handle her she has the most bushy tail all blond and the rest of her is ginger, she looks as though she has a skirt on ,she keeps me on my toes, gets me up in the morning for her feed, and walks, and its the best thing i ever did, we are now thinking of having another little dog, as she loves playing with other dogs, she has given me my life back , were i am not thinking of this fibro all the time, suexx ps its a shame we cant put there photo on the page,

  • There is good scientific evidence that pet ownership helps with a range of health problems hence the growth of 'companion dogs' being provided for disabled people. Not taken off to much in the UK yet but huge in parts of the US.

    I love my cat and dog - total unconditional love and a shoulder (even a hairy shoulder) to cry on when I need it!

    Christine x

  • I fled my home a year ago, I have no family and no friends as I'm in a new city and as I can't get out and about much, meeting people isn't easy. I do have my jack russell dog and my two cats and they are my life savers. They are company and calming when I'm stressed or in pain. I haven't trained my dog but he has become a great help, If I drop something he will pick it up and give it to me. Now my bengal cat has started trying to do the same. I wouldn't still be here if it wasn't for them.

    Waya x

  • resurch has shown pet owners do live longer and feel less stress . its also shown pets are good for nursing homes dysabled children hospitals

    but please think what pet would do for you and what works for fms you have .. older dogs need less exercise some breads are great including lurchers and grayhounds

    a indoor cat would need a tray .. but its a disission that costs

    good luck

    gentle dyslexic hugs

  • hi..o yes i wouldnt be without my 2 beautiful lhasas...i adore them and as you say they make sure u get a bit of exercise and they keep me amused especially on my bad days..they cheer me up!!!hope u havin a gud day xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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