Sick people have been known to make a “complete turnaround” after being able to see their pet dogs. This phenomenon is well known and proves that contact with animals help improve human health.
There are several ways our beloved Labradors help us and here are some.
They help young children learn
In a research study carried out in 2008, it was found that reading aloud to dogs helped boost self-confidence in kids. Another study in 2009 backed this up, finding that pupils who took part in a Sit Stay Read program in Chicago increased reading fluency by up to 20%.
UK-based charity, Pets As Therapy, run their own Read2Dogs program – they take dogs to schools. One of the reasons it works is that the dogs used for therapy are easygoing, nonjudgmental and accepting—silently and happily listening to children and not reacting when they struggle with words.
Dogs have also been proven to help increase focus on learning. They also help autistic children to be more social, develop their physical and motor skills, and sleep better.
They can help us overcome depression and anxiety.
It is common knowledge that allowing pets to visit hospital patients speeds up the patient’s recovery significantly. It makes people feel more comfortable.It lowers blood pressure and a stress-related hormone called cortisol. This means, dogs can help people to recover faster.
It was also found in other studies that dogs can reduce the blood-pressure response to mental stress. This minimizes mental health problems like depression. The reason behind it is they encourage physical contact, distract from negative thoughts, and love us unconditionally.
Pets also make us responsible. This is a factor that helps alleviate depression — a sense of responsibility for another life means we feel more self-worth and respect.
They make you more physically active
Of course. Having a dog means having responsibilities. This means having to provide for their physical needs –especially by taking them for a walk. Studies prove that if you have a dog, you’re more likely to be more active. There was even a study that elderly people with dogs are generally fitter and healthier that those who don’t have one.
They cheer us up
In a 2008 research study, it was found that when residents of long-term care homes are given animal-assisted therapy (AAT) with a dog, they cheer up. They are generally happier than those that have not had that companionship.
This is probably because dogs are such accepting and placid buddies. We often feel like we have a connection with them that is simply beyond words.
Source: Daily Mirror