Your Four-Legged Therapist [Pet-Therapy]


Your four-legged friends can be a handful, you now only have multiple left shoes, never again will you be able to go to the toilet in peace and you have accepted the fact that you will be wearing dog slobber as an accessory to work most mornings, but did you know that, despite the occasional headache, pets are actually good for your health.

Pet Therapy

Pets have been proven to be good for you both mentally and physically. Of course we know that the physical benefit comes from those long walks around the fields and not to mention those laps around the garden chasing the proud pup that has your pants in their mouth.

Also those lovely snuggles and tummy rubs actually lower blood pressure and heart rates, the repetitive motion of petting puts you in a state of calm and relaxes you, plus they will only love you more for doing it so everybody wins!

The mental benefits are slightly less obvious, especially to those who are currently pulling their hair out after discovering yet another thing that has fallen victim to the hound, but believe it or not, it’s true.

An Elderly Man’s Best Friend

An example of this is in the elderly. Pets have been proven to reduce depression, one of the most common problems affecting the elderly. They also provide much needed companionship for those suffering with loneliness, not to mention increasing their overall happiness.

Pet therapy has proven so effective with the elderly that some care homes in the UK are allowing elderly residents to bring their pets with them. Sunrise Senior Living care homes all have residential pets, meaning that even those that do not have pets to bring can experience the benefits of puppy love (and kitty love).

therapy pets and people

For example, Sunrise Senior Living of Edgbaston, have a dog called Zack who helps with their Reminiscence care, aimed at helping people with memory problems such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

From the Old to the Young

Pets, in a growing number of cases, have also helped children with learning difficulties such as autism and ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). They provide a much needed routine to those with ADHD, helping them focus. They have also been known to help autistic children come out of their shell as well as some being specially trained to help with situations where these children are affected by their autism, including panic attacks.

So the next time your furry companion is driving you up the wall, take a deep breath and remember it IS worth it.

Pet therapy infographic

Gemma Harling, a beagle mummy, in partnership with Sunrise Senior Living talks about how pooches are good for your health; from the young to the elderly they help in a number of ways you may not know about.