Pets are increasingly being used as part of therapy programs by doctors. Therapy dogs are more effective because of their natural curiosity and interaction. Here’s what you need to know.
The Best Breeds for Therapy
It’s easy to think a dog is a dog. But any dog owner will tell you they are all different. Even dogs of the same breed develop individual personalities, which is a privilege to see as they grow. While any dog is a great listener, there are some breeds that therapists recommend over others. Labradors, for example, are almost always at the top of the list. But this is because they are multitaskers. For straightforward love and support, smaller dogs like Ausmate Australian Cobberdogs are great because they are very caring and don’t get in the way.
What Therapy Dogs Do
Dogs are excellent pets that require little maintenance beyond feeding, an occasional bath, and a daily walk. So just looking after a dog is healthy since it gets you moving and outside for some fresh air. But dogs are also excellent companions if you have a health condition such as cancer, PTSD, or dementia. Some can also be trained to alert when something is wrong, such as having an epileptic seizure. But therapy dogs also provide massive amounts of love and comfort to their owners who otherwise have no one to turn to when stressed, anxious or depressed.
The Benefits of Therapy Dogs
Dogs are so effective as therapy that there are over 50,000 therapy dogs in the United States alone. Pet therapy works on many levels, both physical and mental, so it is excellent for your overall health. Some of the many benefits of using a dog for therapy include the following:
- Decreases stress, anxiety and feelings of loneliness and depression.
- Maintain social engagement and interaction when you’re alone.
- Helps alleviate chronic pain and issues like high blood pressure.
Even if you live with a loving family, depression, and anxiety can plague your life, making it hard to talk to people. A therapy dog helps you cope with these feelings and can break down barriers by having you talk to your dog first. This is so effective it is recommended by most therapists.
How Animals Help
If you have a dog, then you know how comforting they are. When you have no place to turn, a dog will always be at your side, with hugs and kisses. Yet many studies from over the years have concluded that even being around a dog helps with many problems. For example, dog owners are at a much lower risk of developing depressive health conditions. And they help improve your mood simply by being their fun and playful selves. Additionally, playing with your dog encourages you to get out more and move around when you may be living a sedentary lifestyle.
How Pet Therapy Works
Dogs enjoy providing love and support just as much as we need it. So there is no shame in needing a therapy dog; they can help your mental and physical welfare. Therefore they are recommended if you experience emotional problems that affect relationships. But they are also excellent for helping you cope with mental health issues. Therefore, therapy dogs are more than pets. Interacting with an animal improves your mood and lowers stress because it releases endorphins and serotonin. These are the chemicals that make you feel in a good mood.
Therapy dogs aren’t just pets. Some breeds are multitaskers, while others provide affection. They can help lower severe illnesses and stabilize your mood by balancing hormones.
This is a collaborative post.