Our pets come in all shapes and sizes, but their most important characteristic is not their species, breed or appearance: it's their temperament. If they are friendly, patient, confident, gentle, and at ease with strangers, they have the power to heal. They provide unconditional acceptance and never fail to warm the hearts of children and adults alike. Spending time with animals produces marked improvements in humans, affecting the physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of our well-being. Our pets provide a plethora of healing attributes, here's how:
Patients appreciate a warm and loving distraction from their pain and worries, as well as the depression and boredom that can result from a long hospital stay. You will find that family members are every bit as appreciative; not only because pets are comforting their loved ones, but because they are also going through difficult times and appreciate a mental break themselves. Waiting rooms provide another opportunity for healing. Relatives and friends of patients may be waiting for very long periods of time during surgeries, all the while worrying about the outcome. Therapy animals and personal pets are becoming increasingly common at hospitals as health practitioners recognize the healing powers they unselfishly provide.
Our pets serve as non-judgmental companions in the process of learning and development. They are used for everything from help with lessons to teaching social skills and responsibility. They help students with emotional problems that interfere with school, including grief and personal crisis. Pets are primarily used to reduce stress and depression in students studying particularly difficult curriculums, or studying for exams. Visits with animals have been reported by students to serve as a more healthy method of stress relief, as opposed to stereotypical alternatives such as binge drinking.
Crisis response organizations work with emergency response agencies to place therapy dog teams in disaster areas. The teams provide comfort, emotional support, and hope to the victims of the disaster, as well as to the emergency responders. Disaster victims often shut down emotionally and stop thinking clearly. The presence of a dog, and especially physical contact with one, can help calm a person, which allows them to think more clearly. They are then in a better position to communicate their needs to emergency responders.
Dogs may be good at more than fetching sticks and greeting you after a long day at work. As it turns out, simply having them around may lessen your kids' chances of getting the common cold. Owning a dog may improve the health of children in that household, according to new research from the University of California, San Francisco. In a study of mice, researchers found that the house dust from homes with dogs worked to protect against a common cold strain, the respiratory syncytial virus. Read more from ABC News.
Our dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, horses, donkeys, llamas, alpacas, pot-bellied pigs and birds can all provide healing, it's simply up to us to harness the love! For more information on local resources for your furry loved ones, including adoption and therapy services, visit the Oregon Human Society's website here. Ruff, ruff!