Role of Therapy Dogs to Mental and Physical Health of Humans
With some training, your dog can become a therapy dog too!
Therapy dogs are animals that help you feel better by providing emotional support. To assist yourself and others, you can train your dog to be a therapy dog. Therapy dogs reside in the homes of their owners. They can also visit retirement or nursing homes, schools, hospice homes, and hospitals, among other places. They’ve been taught to be friendly and polite, and they’ve been taught to accept strangers caressing or petting them. Children tugging at their fur or parents wanting the little ones to sit in their laps don’t upset them.
Dogs make good therapy animals because of their sensitivity to human emotion.
When they notice a human being upset or in general emotional discomfort, they nuzzle or moan, demonstrating sympathy and empathy. The goal of therapy dogs is to provide comfort and companionship to everyone. Therapy dogs have been shown to help people with mental health issues and psychiatric problems.
Stroking a dog can improve your emotional and physical well-being.
Patients suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, autism, ADHD, PTSD, and Alzheimer’s disease benefit from interactions with therapy dogs and other companion animals. Having a therapy dog come can help individuals forget about their problems, physical or mental discomfort, worries or bring a smile to their faces. Just stroking a dog has improved people’s emotional and physical well-being. When humans and animals interact, chemicals in the brain such as serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin are created, which help to raise emotions.
What are the differences between therapy dogs and service dogs?
Service dogs are trained to carry out certain activities on their masters’ behalf. They go through extensive, high-end, task-oriented training to assist their owners with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act establishes provisions that allow these canines to join their owners in public places. On the other hand, therapy dogs, often known as “comfort dogs,” assist people with their mental health by providing attention and comfort. Their charming demeanors and unconditional love may be helpful for folks who are dealing with medical issues. A therapy dog, unlike service dogs, can be enjoyed by everyone.
Therapy dogs are a fantastic resource for pupils who need to be calmed and welcomed.
Sometimes the dog can sense when a pupil is in distress and will approach that student. The pupils will relax, touch the dog, and go about their business. A seemingly insignificant conversation can have a significant impact on someone’s day. Anxiety and sadness are reduced, among other benefits. Hormones of stress are lowered. The ability to interact with others has improved. The heart rate and blood pressure have returned to normal. Boost your confidence. The level of motivation has increased—positive Attitude toward learning.
With some training and a friendly dog breed can become a therapy dog. Golden retrievers, standard poodles, St. Bernards, and Labrador retrievers are popular therapy dogs. However, when the dog and the patient share a tiny space, smaller breeds like micro poodles and Pomeranians are good candidates.
Basic Requirements for Therapy Dogs: Therapy dogs must be well-tempered, outgoing and friendly, and adaptable to various settings. We may benefit from stress-relieving activities, but adding therapy dogs to the mix could make them even more effective.
Even though therapy dogs cannot teach you how to learn, they can help you cope with your anxiety, improving your academic performance in the long term. Many benefits of having therapy dogs in schools are clear, and we should ideally embrace this practice even more widely.
- How Dogs Can Offer a Unique Form of Mental Health Therapy. (n.d.). Verywell Mind.https://www.verywellmind.com/therapy-dogs-benefits-2615438#citation-2
- How do therapy dogs help to reduce student stress and anxiety? Alliance of Therapy DogsInc. (2022, March 16). Retrieved March 27, 2022, from https://www.therapydogs.com/how-do-therapy-dogs-help-to-reduce-student-stress-and-anxiety/
- Brooks, H. L., Rushton, K., Lovell, K., Bee, P., Walker, L., Grant, L., & Rogers, A. (2018). The power of support from companion animals for people living with mental health problems: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of the evidence. BMC Psychiatry, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-018-1613-2
- Swall, A., Ebbeskog, B., Lundh Hagelin, C., & Fagerberg, I. (2017). Stepping out of the shadows of Alzheimer’s disease: a phenomenological hermeneutic study of older people with Alzheimer’s disease caring for a therapy dog. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being, 12(1), 1347013. https://doi.org/10.1080/17482631.2017.1347013