Fibromyalgia Pet Therapy

fibromyalgia pet therapy

If you want to relieve fibromyalgia pain, consider fibromyalgia pet therapy. Several studies have shown that one of the remarkable benefits of having a pet is relieving the body of chronic pain. In fact, it has long been known that pets can significantly help in physical therapy. Aside from providing assistance to people with disabilities, they are also used in nursing homes and hospitals.

Benefits of Fibromyalgia Pet Therapy

Smaller dogs are said to be effective in helping patients deal with painful symptoms. Dogs also provide patients with a sense of grounding if they are caught in fibro fog. Because of the dog’s unconditional love, they help encourage patients to be more active. Furthermore, they help patients to achieve better balance and improved range of motion.

Some fibromyalgia patients found that their pets give them a sense of independence and security. This helps them to better cope with their condition.

How Does Fibromyalgia Pet Therapy Relieve Pain

Studies have shown that when visited by dogs, chronically ill patients warded in hospitals have experienced a lower level of stress. Studies also show that petting a dog provides relaxation and has calming effects on all people. This results in better communication, improved learning and awareness. Therefore these reasons explain why pet therapy has become a norm even in clinics, hospitals and schools. They assist the deaf, blind, physically disabled individuals and those suffering from certain illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.

Many fibromyalgia patients believe that their dogs have helped to improve their ability to cope with pain. In fact, some patients constantly hug their dogs to help alleviate their pain. This is because the body heat of dogs serve as heat therapy, which helps reduce pain. Domesti-PUPS, an organization that trains and socializes dogs stated that almost 20 percent of their clients are suffering from fibromyalgia.

Other Benefits Of Having A Service Pet

Mobility impaired fibromyalgia patients can greatly benefit from service pets. With proper training, these dogs can run errands, such as switching lights on and off, retrieve medicine and open doors etc. Traditionally, Labrador and Golden Retrievers are the common service dog breeds. However, these days, any type of dog having the right temperament can become one after training. In fact, some use cats and other pets to provide services for them.

Some Considerations

Despite the benefits, getting a pet is a huge responsibility. Although they are trained as service dogs to provide care, they do need attention and love as most pets do. Furthermore, it may take close to a year for your dog to be entirely trained and adapted into your family and environment. You should also consider the amount of time you have for your dog, your work schedule and most importantly, the cost of having and maintaining a pet. Nevertheless, if you provide your dog with a loving home, the reward is endless.

Approach a local animal shelter to help you in looking for a service pet to help you manage your condition. They may also direct you to some animal assistance organizations.


  • If I didn’t have my wee dog I don’t know what id do. He makes me get up and cook dinner for us both otherwise I would be lying in bed alday.i need to take care off him. And he gets me to play with him . Just throwing a ball bringing it back and putting it into my hand.. yes a dog is great for relaxing..

    • Carolyn,
      Yes, you can. It takes 1-2 years to fully train your dog. Find a service dog training provider in your location. They will be able to provide more information.

  • I think this article should include cats too because mine have helped me with my pain and stress because when I look into their eyes or hear their meow my heart just melts!!

    • I agree. My cat knows when I am hurting, and she crawls into bed with me and gives me lots ofkisses. She also makes sure I maintain an appropriate feeding time for both her and me. We have been together for 10 years and I hope we will be together for many more.I recently went away for a 2 week vacation without her (first time) and she suffered such separation anxiety that I had to take her to a vet. Now when I go away,my son comes home to stay with her so there are no problems.It was strange the first time that she reacted so badly as she stayed with a friend who she has known for years,but it was not at her own home. Cats can be very emotional too, not justdogs.

      • Colleen and Cheryl,
        Yes, pet therapy is not limited to dogs, although it is the more common service pet choice. Some do use cats and other pets to provide physical and emotional support too.

  • My little dog gives me a reason to get up in a morning because I know he needs me to care for him. In return he gives me so much love and knows when I am feeling down he looks at me with his big brown eyes as if to say I’ll look after you.
    He is my soul mate.

  • I had a cat that would sleep curled up next to my lower back, when he purred his body would vibrate softly, that plus his body heat would feel so nice and it would relieve my tense muscles. Now I have a small dog. The unconditional love of a pet helps relieve the depression and stress, and also makes me get up and walk him.

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