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Pet prescription

Last Modified: 5/22/2018

Today is National Love Your Pet Day and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to share some quick facts about and adorable photos of our furry friends.

“We love the day that our therapy dogs visit!” Colleen Banta, BS, Certified Child Life specialist, AIMI, Parkview Women and Children’s/Pediatric/PICU said. “The children and families in our care appreciate any time we can bring in some kind of activity to promote feelings of a more normal interaction apart from the healthcare interventions. So when the dogs show up, the smiles and positive interactions do, too!”

Animal therapy has proven benefits for caregivers’ and patients’ physical and mental health, particularly among children, and adults being treated for cancer, chronic heart failure and post-traumatic stress

Benefits of Animal Therapy

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lessens physical pain
  • Decreases feelings of isolation or alienation
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Releases endorphins that calm patients
  • Lifts spirits and lowers depression
  • Encourages communication
  • Provides comfort
  • Reduces boredom
  • Lowers anxiety
  • Helps children overcome speech and emotional hurdles
  • Creates motivation to recover
  • Reduces fatigue

“When children and adults pet a dog, it’s relaxing because that dog gives back unconditionally, wagging the tail, and leaning into the warm touch from our patients.” Colleen adds. “Plus, many of the children and families have pets of their own that they miss, and seeing the therapy dogs brings cheer and a more positive outlook to their day.”



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