ANIMAL THERAPY: UNDERSTANDING THE KEY BENEFITS OF THERAPY DOGS
Therapy dogs can improve your mental health, physical health, and more. Here are the key benefits of therapy dogs that you should know.
There is nothing like pets love. Even further trained therapy dogs can help humans in multiple ways. Therapy dogs help improve your communication skills, boost mental health, and a myriad of other benefits.
It is already therapeutic to have a furry friend waiting on you when you come from work. They help you feel like you have company even when you are alone and protect you. It is even better because scientific research shows that dogs can promote mental and physical health.
However, trained therapy dogs are significantly different from normal dogs. They are trained with competence.
Read on to understand the key benefits of therapy dogs
Key Benefits of Therapy Dogs
Therapy dogs undergo training to help people going through a tough time by providing comfort and accompanying patients to where they need to go.
Whether it is the hospital or the rehabilitation center, hospice patients and the elderly living in retirement homes sometimes need a dog for support.
According to research, interaction with dogs releases chemicals that improve your bonding capabilities and increase happiness. Hence the reason why there are people who prefer dogs to an actual human being
Here are a few other amazing benefits of therapy dogs.
1. Boost Your Mental Health
Using therapy dogs in patients with mental health patients is helps them achieve better results. There is a range of mental diseases including depression and PTSD. Dogs play an important role in helping one overcome or control these mental health challenges.
Continuous interaction with therapy dogs helps one overcome challenging situations like PTSD. When you feel inner peace, it becomes easier to overcome or control mental issues like depression.
It is important to note that these dogs have a handler at first to help with the interactions. Ones the patient is comfortable with the animal, the handler stops staying with the dog. If you have a loved one dealing with mental health problems, hire trainers to help your dog help your loved one.
Even if you are going for an overall boost in mental health, having your dog trained to become a therapy dog can serve this purpose.
2. Solution to Dementia
The elderly often develop dementia due to their age. Therapy dogs go a long way in assisting such situations that sometimes an elderly does not have to end up in a retirement home. These dogs assist with simple tasks around the house like fetching items and placing the trash in the right place.
The owner has to take these dogs for walks, which is good for physical strength. Mentally they help because the grandparents no longer feel like they are unwanted when their families take them to retirement homes.
You can also have a visiting therapy dog in the retirement home for the same kind of support it would support if you were at home. However, there are retirement homes that allow the residents to have service dogs as long as they meet the requirements.
3. Facilitate Communication
Did you know it is easier to talk to a dog than it is t talk to a human confidant? A dog will let you talk and simply listen. They will not judge or give unsolicited advice.
The best part is that you can talk to them every day about your issues and they will still listen.
It helps improve communication, especially in people who have a hard time talking. When you talk to them enough, it becomes easier to talk to people as well.
4. Overcome Speech Disorders and Other Autistic Related Issues
Dogs also help you overcome speech disorders. They help increase your concentration and coordination, which is the reason why people with dysarthria are unable to talk properly.
Dogs are also beneficial to autistic children because they get something to talk about, hence improving communication in the child. Autistic children also have a hard time making friends and they prefer being alone. Dogs often provide them with some company, which is great for both behavioral and speech therapy.
5. Household Chores
Did you know that therapy dogs have the training to enable them to respond to situations when the patient is unresponsive? Yes, they can detect and respond to a smoke detector or go outside and find help. These are the animal-assisted therapy dogs.
The best part is you can actually send them to get you something from the fridge. They can fetch your medicine, and even answer your doorbell. It is like living with an in house chauffer who is also your best friend.
However, they are not normal pets and you have to have a form of disability to own one.
6. Physical Exercise
People often want fitness to become a part of the routine but do not where to start. Get a therapy dog. You have to walk and play with them almost daily. They become your workout partners and you can talk to them during this time.
They are especially helpful to patients going through something difficult. A good example is when soldiers survive traumatic experiences but come back with mental and physical injuries. They have to go through painful rehabilitation for their physical health.
Dogs help them achieve this and at the same time, they have a friend to talk to easily.
7. Health Benefits
Research shows that therapy dogs have a great impact when it comes to improving the general health of the owner. Scientifically, they have human-like emotions. They help lower blood pressure in patients with unstable pressure.
This is because they provide a safe and stress-free environment for the owners.
Dogs also improve cardiovascular health in patients and overall physical pain. Apart from the fact that you have to walk them, they also ensure that you are in a safe environment. Therapy dogs will constantly listen to you and you feel better.
Sometimes you need your inner self to be healthy for your physical self to follow suit.
Peace of mind is paramount to you improving your health, and therapy dogs often provide an environment for you to feel safe and have the peace you need.
Hire a Trainer and Experience the Benefits of Therapy Dogs
There are numerous benefits of therapy dogs for both young and old people. If you are in an environment where you cannot live with a dog, there are therapeutic visitation dogs who will visit you where you are and when you need a furry friend.
They have handlers who will bring them and take them back after the session. You can also have one full time to maximize on the benefits they have.
Therapy dogs are becoming more common because of these benefits. You can also get emotional support dogs, epilepsy service digs, and normal service dogs that are there for whichever services you need.