A little about Pet Therapy
It is well known that pets, especially dogs, not only offer companionship and unconditional love, but recent studies have found that pets may have the ability to boost a persons health and well-being. This is especially interesting when it comes to the elderly.
Pet therapy is a type of therapy involving animals as a form of treatment. It is usually used to improve a patient’s social, emotional, or cognitive functioning. Pet therapy is often used in residential aged care.
Some of the benefits that have been identified in recent research include:
- A decrease in blood pressure and stress
- Improved communication
- Patients are observed to have higher spirits, chatting and smiling with the pet
- Motor skills may also improve when working with a specially trained animal
Animals used in pet therapy must have good social skills and be comfortable meeting new people all the time. They will also have solid obedience skills and prior exposure to people using wheelchairs or other mobility aids.
On a more general note, did you know pet owners
- Visit the doctors less often and use less medication
- On average, they have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure
- Recover more quickly from illness and surgery and deal better with stress
- Are less likely to be lonely