The Future of Therapy Dogs in Mental Health Care

It is proven scientifically that therapy dogs have a good impact on our mental health. From minimizing anxiety and stress to helping build cognitive and behavioural skills, you can take your dog to trainers, such as Dog Therapy Training UK, to help treat different mental health issues. You can visit their website here:

What Dog Therapy Is

Dog therapy, also called animal-assisted therapy, encompasses interacting with animals to understand and explore the way you feel. In other words, dog therapy is when you include a trained dog in a therapeutic process. This might be for a couple of reasons, including undying support for emotional, mental, social, and physical health. For some individuals, including dogs in therapy, may help them get better and feel comfortable to open up. These canines are present beings, living in the moment. Our dogs neither criticize nor judge. Shifting the attention of a person to a dog may help to bring down all the walls that stop them from working or talking through tough experiences and emotions. Creating a safe haven through interaction may help to make the entire experience feel like therapy, motivating people to think of what they feel.

How This Works

When healthcare providers decide to use dog therapy on their patients, they will set some goals for therapy sessions. The goals depend on the individual situation of a person and may include the following:

  • Minimizing pain levels
  • Improving movement ability or motor skills
  • Bringing comfort
  • Developing social or behavioural skills
  • Motivating patients to take part in different activities, like socializing with other people or exercising

The canines and handlers, who should be certified and go through a thorough process of training, must work under a healthcare provider’s guidance. During therapy sessions, the canines and their handlers will do different activities with patients to achieve the goals that the healthcare provider set. The therapist might be a handler, too. In this case, the healthcare provider will not require an AAT (animal-assisted therapy) certification since the canines are regarded as interventional tools that therapists can use.

How Therapy Dogs Health Patients with Mental Health Issues

Dogs have a special place in people’s hearts by providing unconditional love, companionship, and comfort. For most of us, dogs aren’t just animals. We treat them as family members. Most dog owners will attest to the profound effect these furry friends of ours have on our mental health. Whether it is their playful antics or wagging tails, these dogs have extraordinary capabilities to significantly contribute to people’s mental well-being. In addition, therapy dogs have the ability to decrease the stress levels. Just being there, can help to decrease the level of cortisol, minimize heart rate, and reduce blood pressure. This, in turn, helps to alleviate stress.

In conclusion, therapy dogs have the potential to complement traditional treatments that help to improve the mental health of hospitalized patients. Hospital settings often present a lot of challenges, but with the help of a therapy dog, patients with mental health issues can forget those challenges and concentrate on their recovery.

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