Pet therapy is a growing trend, and for good reason. Mayo Clinic defines pet therapy as pet-assisted therapy or other pet-assisted activities. Surprisingly the trend of animals in medical settings is not a new concept; it has actually been used for more than 150 years.
Pet therapy can help individuals recover or cope with health problems. Animal assisted therapy can reduce pain, anxiety, depression, and fatigue in people with a wide range of health problems. Not only do the patients getting animal therapy benefit, but those around them benefit as well. The presence of animals in medical settings is proving to have very positive effects.
Interacting with animals increases our levels of the hormone oxytocin, which makes us feel happy. Oxytocin also has healing benefits, and helps our bodies heal. Oxytocin’s powerful effects put our body in a prime environment to produce new cells and stay healthy. Studies show that just petting a dog for a few minutes reduces blood pressure.
Pet therapy is great for hospital settings, but can also be used in other settings such as universities, community programs, nursing homes, jails, and mental institutions. Also, a variety of animals can be used for pet therapy. Dogs, cats, horses, birds, and fish are all used for animal therapy.
At the end of the day, it is clear that pets can make or keep us healthy!
Next time you’re at Ambiente you might see Remi, our office dog!