Last Updated Thursday, February 16, 2023 9:03PM UTC
St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs are friendly, outgoing, and empathetic animals who are very obedient. They visit settings like hospitals, retirement homes, and school with their handlers to help boost morale. Many studies have been conducted that show the benefits of these visits and how they can make a significant difference in people’s lives.
These benefits include:
Simply petting or brushing a dog gets the arms and hands moving! This is helpful for elderly or sick people that may not get a lot of movement in throughout the day. Playing with the dog and/or accompanying it on a walk can also get the whole body moving.
Research shows that being in the presence of animals helps to create a sense of calm and lowers stress levels. Petting and interacting with dogs is shown to increase oxytocin, the feel-good hormone.
Improve loneliness and social skills:
Those that need therapy dogs the most are often plagued with feelings of loneliness and don’t always get a lot of social interaction in their settings. A patient in a hospital, for example, spends all day in bed with little social interaction. When a therapy dog comes for a visit, they can talk to them and cuddle them. They can also interact with the handler and discuss something other than what they are going through.
Decrease anxiety and fear:
Those that are sick and going through treatments often feel anxiety about what is happening to them. Simply petting an animal can give them reassurance and take their mind off the situation that they are in. A very welcomed distraction!
The St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program provides opportunities for individuals to:
- Talk with the volunteer and the dog
- Feel, touch, pet, and cuddle the dog
- Receive unconditional love from the dog
- Carry-out or practice an activity in the presence of the dog
Do you have a calm and friendly furry friend that might make a good therapy dog? Are you yourself outgoing, friendly, sensitive, patient, and dependable? Contact us here to learn more about our Therapy Dog Program that is generously sponsored by Subaru.
Do you work for an organization that could benefit from a visit? Request a visit here!