Going through medical rehabilitation or being in a long-term-care facility can carry a great deal of stress and potential loneliness. Animal-assisted therapy uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with health issues. These may include heart disease, stroke recovery, cancer or long-term-care adjustment.
These animals not only can provide comfort and enjoyment to patients and residents, but also can be taught to reinforce rehabilitation efforts that involve through a ball or walking. Pet therapy can impact pain reduction, stress, depression and fatigue for those who are undergoing medical treatment.
Healthcare facilities that use pet therapy have stringent rules that ensure pets are clean, vaccinated, trained and screened before they can share their adorableness with patients. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has never received a report of infection from animal-assisted therapy.
So if you or your loved one is feeling a little gloomy, consider requesting pet therapy to lift their spirits. Having their therapy “go to the dogs” might be just what the doctor orders.