Petting a dog is one of the most soothing activities available. It has been demonstrated to improve mood and reduce stress. Doctors, therapists, social workers, and other public health practitioners have begun to bring their dogs to work as a result of these factors.
Therapy dogs, which have provided comfort and relief to hospital patients for years, are increasingly assisting people in a variety of settings.
The Dog is In
Animal-assisted therapy is a burgeoning area with scientific evidence to back up the benefits of involving dogs in treatment sessions. For the simple reason that dogs calm most people, many psychiatrists and therapists are increasingly bringing their dogs to work regularly.
When a patient in rehabs that allow dogs is resistant to talking and sharing, has difficult-to-express thoughts, or is simply anxious, having a dog on the sofa next to him or her to a pet can make all the difference.
Petting a dog for a few minutes has been shown to reduce stress hormone cortisol and raise mood-enhancing neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, according to research.
The Amazing Sniffer
Dogs’ sense of smell is far superior to humans’, as most people are aware. In tissue samples, they may detect minute levels of explosives, well-hidden medicines, and even cancer cells.
Many therapists believe that dogs can detect a patient’s various psychological states and provide the proper level of comfort in response.
Some therapists believe that their canines can tell the difference between a depressed and an anxious patient and that they treat them differently.
Help for All Ages
Dogs appear to be especially helpful to the elderly and the very young. Both groupings can be especially susceptible and could benefit from animal aid.
Children who have been through a lot of trauma and have shut down will often respond better to a dog than to a therapist. The dog might help the child gain confidence in the doctor and begin to open up.
In a new scenario, elderly patients, particularly those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, often feel confused and uneasy. Going to the doctor’s office can be a very stressful experience for them. Seeing a dog immediately can put them at ease and make them feel secure.
Not Just for Therapy
Doctors are starting to see the benefits of having a dog in the office as well. Dogs bring comfort to patients in the waiting area, although they cannot accompany them into the examination or surgery rooms.
They’ve been used in hospitals for years to help patients with chronic and terminal illnesses feel more at ease, as well as to just brighten everyone’s day. It has been discovered that caressing a dog for five minutes can provide as much relaxation as a twenty-minute break for a medical worker.
This circumstance is also beneficial to dogs. Dogs were bred to serve humans, and the majority of them thrive when they have a job to complete and a feeling of purpose.
They are, after all, very social animals, and most would rather spend a day at work meeting new people and seeing old acquaintances than stay at home alone.
The majority of their day is spent receiving affection and treats, and they enjoy every minute of it. However, not all canines are suited to this task.
Therapy dogs must be well-trained and have a low level of energy, even though there are no recognized standard or training requirements. For therapy work, no specific breed is better than another; individual features are more significant.
The use of dogs in therapy is a new and interesting field of research, and medical schools are starting to offer animal assistance courses. As more public health employees recognize the benefits of bringing their best friend to work, dogs will continue to assist people in innovative ways.