During a long time of living together, dogs have evolved into sensitive companion animals who know when their owner is ill, when experiences pain, or when feels sad. Not only that they show empathy toward their owners, but they also try to comfort them. Thus, therapy dogs emerge as the most natural mission of these amazing animals. But, how do therapy dogs help stressed people calm down?
To answer this question, veterinarians from Eastshore Vet, the best veterinary hospital in Madison, explain it this way.
Every owner knows that having a dog has many benefits. Numerous studies show beneficial effects on people at different levels. Dog owners usually suffer far less from depression, anxiety, and stress. They also report having lower blood pressure and lower level of triglyceride and cholesterol. As a result, they have better heart health than their counterparts who don't have pets.
Special-needs kids, schoolchildren, and students cope better with everyday activities and get better results when having regular contact with therapy dogs. Petting therapy dogs at school helps special-needs children and sensitive children, in general, to cope with the hectic school environment. Children who have experienced a hard time with reading, significantly improve when their furry friend is present.
Petting dogs, not only therapy dogs, decreases cortisol, a stress hormone, and increases oxytocin, the hormone of connection. When your body secretes the happy hormones, such as serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine, and so on, you become relaxed and calm.
Physical contact with a dog who accepts you unconditionally most likely has healing effects for many people. It is no wonder that therapy dogs find their place in supporting patients in hospitals. Studies have shown that patients on chemotherapy report better emotional health after several months of friendship with therapy dogs.
People in retirement centers also feel the positive effects of therapy dogs. They feel less lonely and less depressed.Stroking and hugging a pet help them calm down and improve their mood. Dog companionship helps these people stay open and connected not only to animals butto other people, too.
Even people in prisons see huge benefits from contact with therapy dogs. Many prisoners report feeling more peaceful and calm after playing with dogs. These regular sessions improve their mood, decrease aggression, and alleviate mental health issues for many of them.
Dog parents already know how supportive and compassionate their furry friends can be. However, it is always good to know how precious they are and be aware of how much they deserve your love.