Pet Therapy

Never underestimate the power of our four-legged friends.

There is a lot to be said about the human connection to animals. Whether it’s snuggling on the couch or doing something fun with your fur-baby, you can’t deny that you feel better with them by your side.

Dogs, cats, and even horses—have all helped humans manage and process their emotions and mental health.

In a formal setting, people who have experienced trauma can find healing benefits through pet therapy. Trained therapy dogs, for example, are calm in nature and taught to be obedient and respond predictably to their environments. These well-mannered pooches have had great success in aged-cared facilities, hospitals, and schools.

Studies have seen those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder regain their ability to feel positive emotions and a sense of security in the company of a dog.

Pet therapy has also been shown to aid families with autism and even stressed undergraduate students.

What about for the every-day person—and pet? Whether or not your furry friend is formally trained, you can still reap benefits.

Though dogs won’t replace a healthy diet, one study reports that dogs are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. By motivating physical activity, they might just help us get out of our heads and into our runners.

Other reported benefits from pet ownership include things such as increased self-esteem, better handling of rejection, and improved conscientiousness.

We don’t know about you, but those all look like great things to bring into the workplace!  

If you have a furry friend at home, here are some tips to nurturing your relationship:

Stay present.

Put the phone away and pay as much attention to them as they do to you. Pets can teach us a lot about being mindful! Other things can wait—give them a good scratch and embrace the moment.

Play or go on a walk.

Throw a ball, move a string, run around and get active with your friend. It’s easy to see how making time to play with a pet can easily be the best part of their day—and perhaps yours as well!

Share a snack.

There are few things animals (and people) love more than food. Grab something dog, cat, and human friendly and have a little bite to eat together.

Next time you’re feeling stressed and you don’t have a pet at home, call up a friend and see if you can borrow some cuddles. Volunteering at local animal sanctuaries and shelters is another way to do-good and get some animal love.

These are simple tips for a simple solution to every day stress. Your four-legged pal might not fix all your problems, but he or she can help you get through them!