BR-NavigationSometimes sun, sometimes thick clouds. Especially in the afternoon here and there showers and isolated thunderstorms. Highs of 14 to 21 degrees.
They are sweet and promote our health, when cuddling or going for a walk. Germany is home to nearly 35 million pets, the most popular being cats. Reporter Fero Andersen discovers the effects living with animals has on us.
By: Annette Hammerschmidt
Beni, a male dog, regularly visits the residents of an old people's home in Munich. Mrs. Mau Mau and Mister Twister live with a family in Dachau, Germany. And Golden Doodle Jenny loves stories. Educator and animal psychologist Kimberly-Ann Grobholz walks her for at least an hour every day.
"You always have to go outside, no matter what the weather, which is a big plus. Not only do you get out into nature, you also meet other dog owners, other dogs. And if you do that for a longer time, you have quite a great condition."
Lack of exercise is the cause of many diseases. A dog prevents this because you have to walk with it every day. It also promotes social contact. Creates an emotional bond – all this is good for health.
Against children's reading difficulties: the reading dog project
Jenny is a reading dog, she likes to listen and therefore likes to go to school.
"Why a dog can help with children's reading difficulties, I now learn in the Sinai School in Munich."
Fero Andersen, reporter
Kimberly-Ann Grobholz founded the first reading dog project in Germany in 2008, which has already won numerous awards. Fero Andersen visits a remedial lesson. Jenny the reading dog makes herself comfortable. What is so special about reading to a dog??
"Jenny is so calm when you read to her. She is then also quiet and does not fidget all the time. She is lying there very relaxed. I like to read to the dogs. People sometimes talk a lot, even when you're reading – and dogs just lie there quietly."
Anton, participant in the reading dog project
A study by the LMU Munich accompanied children with reading difficulties for a year and found, based on saliva samples, that the average levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the children were below those typical for their age.
Calm and stress-resistant animals suitable
"We offer the children a safe, nice, quiet possibility to read to a living being. That she doesn't criticize, just lies there and says, as it were: Read to me."
Kimberly-Ann Grobholz, educator and animal psychologist, Munich, Germany
Calm animals such as turtles, rabbits, or some cats are best suited for reading aloud. It is also important that the animal is stress resistant and loves children.
Cats – the most popular pets
The most popular among pets in Germany are: Cats. Reporter Fero Andersen visits two of them: Mrs. Mau and Mister Twister live with Elske and Valentin in Dachau.
"Valentin attracted attention at the daycare center because of his social behavior towards the resident guinea pigs. I got great feedback from the teachers that he had blossomed so much and then asked him if he would like to have pets."
Elske, mother and cat owner
Pets can increase children's self-confidence and social skills, and they also strengthen their sense of responsibility. And:
"The special thing about cats is the calmness they radiate, the sovereignty they show. They just make you happy, they bring you down, they take away your stress. You could also tell them how the day has been, they would listen to you and look at you and you would get rid of your everyday burden!"
Pets in nursing homes
Pets help not only children, but also old people. Fero Andersen accompanies nursing specialist Eleonore Waldmuller. Her dog Beni during her visit to a home for the elderly in Munich.
"I always had dogs. I am happy when Beni comes to visit. Because he is such a dear dog."
Mrs. Mang, nursing home resident
Studies show that petting animals gives older people more zest for life. Already the presence of animals has a positive effect on the vegetative nervous system, heart rate and blood prere decrease.
"We have found: Animals have a positive effect on people with dementia in particular. You are given a security, about the dog. Animals also help anxious people. They experience so calm."
Eleonore Waldmuller, nursing transition specialist, Munich-Laim
Dog Beni also plays on command. This trains the muscles of seniors. Is fun – also reporter Fero Andersen.