VCA Animal Hospitals

Pets can be good for autistic kids

Published: Aug 30, 2012

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Having a pet, such as a cat or dog, is a big responsibility for people of all ages. After all, a pet requires time, attention and regular trips to a veterinary hospital, among other things.

However, a new study conducted by French researchers suggests introducing a pet into the home of a child with autism may help improve his or her social behaviors.

According to HealthDay news, researchers from the Autism Resource Center of Academic Hospital in Brest, France compared the social interactions of autistic children in three different situations - households that had never had a pet, homes that had had a pet since the child's birth and households that had acquired a pet after the child turned 5.

In total, 260 autistic kids between the ages of 6 and 16 were involved in the study.

The research revealed that kids who got a pet after age 5 showed improvement in their abilities to share with others and to offer comfort, Fox News reports. Youngsters who had a pet since they were born and those who never had a pet showed no such improvement.

Experts say that having a pet may help improve kids' social behavior by distracting them.

"When a human and a pet are interacting, each partner uses signals emitted by the other to adjust their behavior," researchers said, according to Fox News.


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.