Pet Care Linked To Positive Diabetes Self-Management

Young people with type 1 diabetes who helped take care of family pets showed better blood sugar levels, according to a study published in PLOS ONE.

Results from the study claim that people aged 9 to 19 who cared for household pets were 2.5 times more likely to have well-controlled blood sugar levels. They believe the results are due to the similar characteristics needed to effectively self-manage diabetes and those required to care for pets. These attributes include self-regulatory behavior and family cohesion.

Pet care and self-care

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School surveyed young people between the ages of 9 to 19 - all of whom had type 1 diabetes. The survey focused on responsible pet ownership, and the results were examined with respect to effective self-management of their disease.

The study points to specific factors around the home that could contribute to these improved blood sugar levels. Household routines and feelings of responsibility that accompany the management of a pet are similar attributes to managing type 1 diabetes.

Previous studies have shown that even caring for a pet fish can prove beneficial for children. In fact, the younger the patient the more likely they were to prosper.

Researchers said they hope the study will help identify additional attributes that contribute to young people’s positive self-management of type 1 diabetes.

Source: EurekAlert!

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