In mid-August James and Ginie Cabaniss brought in their beautiful Irish Wolfhound! We found that bringing in dogs brightens everyone’s day. Because of the unconditional love of therapy animals, they give those who they’re supporting comfort and happiness. Not surprisingly, all of our individuals loved getting to feed, pet, and brush him as he wagged his tail and soaked it in. As a result of how effective this activity is in boosting morale, we try to do this activity a couple times a month with different dogs.
About Pet Therapy
Animal-assisted therapy (AAT), also known as pet therapy, utilizes trained animals and handlers to achieve specific physical, social, cognitive, and emotional goals with patients. Physical contact with pets can actually lower high blood pressure and allow endorphins to be released! Endorphins are a great chemical in the body that suppresses pain. Furthermore, therapy animals can also help develop fine motor skills by petting, grooming and feeding the animal (encyclopedia.com). However, there is a difference between therapy and service dogs. A service dog is trained in helping an individual with specific tasks. These tasks can include but aren’t limited to shutting off lights, closing doors, crossing streets, etc.
Did you know that therapy dogs were used as early as WWII? Similarly, today service animals are used to assist recovering soldiers. Moreover, the formal therapy dog program was established by a nurse, Elaine Smith, in 1976. Many would assume that therapy animals need to be trained from when they are puppies. Yet, stray and shelter dogs can be trained as therapy dogs, and many do well (figopetinsurance.com)!
In conclusion, therapy animals are good for everyone. With that, whether you think you need a therapy dog or not, it’s hard to argue that petting a friendly animal would raise your blood pressure, right? Is getting a dog or cat too much work and commitment for you? At the Lynchburg Humane Society, you can visit the animals, pet them, give them treats, and lower your blood pressure! However, we don’t recommend this if you are taking care of someone who sensitive to noise.
Would you like to learn more about Harmony Day Support? Learn more HERE!