By loose definition, pet therapy is generally a guided interaction between people and trained animals. Pet therapy usually involves the use of dogs and/or cats to comfort those of us experiencing hard times, or even a wide variety of health issues. Here at Ziemer, we have two wonderful therapy dogs, named Milo and Aree, in training to offer their support to those who need it; however, there can be confusion as to how an animal could help us in our trying times and why such a service would need to be offered. It has actually been proven time and time again that there are significant benefits to having therapy pets and they offer a wide range of support across many situations. We would like to take just a moment to review the benefits of having our Ziemer pups in the community, along with any other service animal, to interact with.
Mental health is very important and shouldn’t be taken lightly and dealing with a difficult situation can have lasting effects on individuals, so any little bit can help more than we may think. These therapy pets can offer tremendous help to those who really need it; those of us who are dealing with those tough times, depression, loss of a loved one, among other complications. They are capable of many things, some of which are: reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation, decreasing anxiety, creating motivation, increasing socialization, encouraging communication, and lifting spirits while lessening depression.
Aside from having them to support the Ziemer community, therapy animals can even be used for other reasons too, such as physical health and therapy, literacy support, mobility assistance, and much more. In physical therapy, animals can help increase joint movement, provide motivation, maintain and increase motor skills, and improve overall recovery time. In terms of literacy support, therapy animals can help children focus, provide non-stressful environments, increase self-confidence, as well as encourage learning. We can’t forget the benefits in physical health, too! Therapy pets are capable of noticeably lowering blood pressure, improving cardiovascular health, diminishing overall physical pain, reducing the amount of medication needed, and providing a calming effect on individuals. Unquestionably, this is all incredibly useful and offers a tremendous amount of help to those of us who could use the assistance.
Today, we are seeing an increase in the use of therapy pets everywhere, including college campuses, homes, work places, our local Starbucks, bathrooms… they’re truly everywhere. Of course, each animal has different training and certification based on what they’ll be doing, but every animal has the ability to assist us and their capabilities are absolutely endless!
Written by Gage Courvelle