Why Animal Therapy

Through my teens, I struggled with making friends, finding myself and working through problems. When I really needed to ground myself, I would walk out to the barn where my friends would be eating their hay. I always said my therapist had 4 legs. It wasn't a lie. I talked to my dog and goats about everything. They heard me practice for choir, listen to my boy problems and were my shoulder to cry on when I felt my world was melting around me. Even today, when things aren't going right for me as a mom or I just need a moment, the goats are always there to help me regain my smile and uplift my spirit. 

We can all attest to the mood lifting and stress relieving benefits of having a pet around. We can’t help to smile when our dog cuddles up to us or our cats crawl into our lap. There are proven physical and mental health benefits to owning a pet and being around animals. Therapy animals are a way for people in lonely, stressful, or traumatic situations that might not be able to own pets to share in the health benefits. Therapy animals, often dogs, are used in retirement and nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, for veterans, and people with disorders or disabilities. Some people even have therapy pets, specifically for the health benefits that animal companionship provides.

Benefits of Therapy Animals;

Physical Benefits:

lowers blood pressure.

improves cardiovascular health.

releases calming endorphins (oxytocin).

lowers overall physical pain.

the act of petting produces an automatic relaxation response, which is believed to reduce the amount of medication needed by some people.

Mental Benefits:

lifts spirits and lessens depression.

lowers feelings of isolation and alienation.

encourages communication.

provides comfort.

increases socialization.

lessens boredom.

reduces anxiety.

aids children in overcome speech and emotional disorders.

creates motivation for the client to recover faster.

reduces loneliness.

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