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Two Dogs

Keep Your Cool With Four-Legged Friends

If you feel like there is nothing that compares to the feeling you get when your four-legged friend gives you a big hug and kiss, you are not alone. Research shows that spending time with animals can not only make us feel better instantaneously, but can have significant, positive, long-time effects on our overall health!

Pet therapy can be a great addition to a medical plan, as it is all-natural and has no side effects. It is scientifically proven to:

  • reduce blood pressure
  • improve heart health
  • improve motor skills
  • ease joint pain
  • diminish overall pain
  • reduce depression

The act of petting an animal alone can improve your health, as it produces an automatic response that releases endorphins.

If you are considering pet therapy, here are a few pointers:

Consider your needs: There are many animal-assisted therapy programs to choose from. Do some research to see what is available in your area. You may find that there is a non-profit that offers pet therapy services for free or for a reduced rate.

Get inspired: Check out this article about how animals and humans can heal each other.

Help others: Do you have a pet of your own who you think may be a good candidate to become a therapy animal? Consider training your own pet to help others. You may be surprised to see how together, you and your furry friend can change people’s lives!

Carol Pardue-Spears

Carol has worked in the healthcare field for more than forty years. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, she worked for El Camino Hospital in the cardiac unit, Los Gatos Community Hospital, The Women’s Cancer Center in Los Gatos and several home health and hospice agencies. Carol founded Family Matters in 2002 to fill a deficit she witnessed in high-quality, in-home services and care.