7 Benefits of Therapy Dog Visits

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Last year, we did a Q & A with our staff member David McClenthen and his wife Tara, to discuss the work of their therapy dog, Honey.

There are four different types of therapy dogs: assisted therapy (helps with physical rehabilitation), facility therapy (works in a facilitated health, education or visitation setting), service dog (specifically trained for individuals with disabilities), or therapy visits– the category Honey falls into-  which offer comfort and relief in a variety of settings.

As a therapy dog, there are several benefits a visit from these types of dogs can offer. Some positive effects can include:

 

1.  Stimulated laughter, joy and smiles 

 

2.  Raised dopamine and serotonin levels (the ‘happiness’ chemical) 

 

3.  Stimulated physical activity (by going on a walk with the dog)

 

4.  Reduced heart rate

 

5.  Improved self awareness (by observing how the dog responds to our touch, physical cues, and energy) 

 

6.  Lowered blood pressure 

 

7. Fulfilled basic human need for touch 

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