For those of own a pet, it’s no secret that they make us happier and healthier, but recently the research community has started to analyze the benefits of human-animal bonds and how this form of therapy can help individuals heal.
According to Paws for People, animal therapy programs like animal assisted therapy (ATT) has scientifically proven benefits like,
For Physical Health:
Releases endorphins (oxytocin) that have a calming effectDiminishes overall physical pain
The act of petting produces an automatic relaxation response, reducing the amount of medication some folks need
For Mental Health:
Lifts spirits and lessens depression and anxiety
Decreases feeling of isolation and loneliness
Encourages communication and increases sense of community
Download Paws for People’s full list of benefits here.
Last March, we invited LAPS (Loving Animals Providing Smiles) to lead a session at the YSC Summit in Oakland, CA to discuss the benefits of pet therapy for those affected by cancer and how to find a quality program where volunteers are trained for safety and effectiveness. Sign up here and be the first to hear about YSC Summit 2018 news and special deals.
Interested in finding an animal assisted therapy program near you? Click here
Helpful Resources and Articles about Pet Therapy:
Read Pet therapy: Man’s best friend as healer – by Mayo Clinic Staff
Want to get involved in pet therapy with your pet? Check out Pet Partner’s requirements for prospective therapy animals and their handlers.
Listen to BreastCancer.org’s podcast featuring Michele Pich, a psychology and veterinary grief counselor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.