What is Pet Therapy?
Dogs, cats, fish, birds, and other pets have long been incredible companions for their owners. One of their most outstanding characteristics is the unconditional love they offer to us. For any of you who have ever loved a pet, you know the benefits of having these loyal beings in your life. Studies show that the simple act of stroking a pet, such as a dog or cat, can actually lower heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. Even watching fish in an aquarium creates similar effects. It is both soothing and meditative.
Many animal shelters are beginning to bring animals for visits to nursing homes, fostering a healing energy for so many elderly people. Pet therapy definitely has been successful at reducing stress and facilitating social interaction. It also brings the people in the facility together with a common interest. Many reflect on their own pet companions that may have passed. In reminiscing, they remember happy times. They seem to open up when they are around animals. Pet therapy is great for children in rehabilitation centers as well. Certified Pet therapy also encourages prior pet owners to share stories, pictures, and descriptions of their beloved pets, providing an avenue to get to know each other better.