National Dog Day – How Furry Friends Can Improve Your Health

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We love our four-legged friends at Clinic Service! This week, we are honoring our canine friends in our blog to celebrate with National Dog Day. Can dogs replace medicine? Perhaps not. However, there are countless emotional and physical perks of spending quality time with a dog, including:

  • Playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
  • Dog owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
  • Heart attack patients with dogs survive longer than those without.
  • Dog owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.
  • According to Science Daily, kids who grow up with dogs in the home have fewer allergies and are less likely to have eczema.
  • Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home.

Many medical programs across the country incorporate bonding time with therapy dogs to help reduce anxiety and lift spirits – from patients undergoing chemotherapy to pediatric dental clinics.

And therapy dogs aren’t just beneficial for patients. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania made national headlines for its a wildly popular “Pet the Pooch” program. This program help to relieve the anxiety sometimes felt by doctors, nurses, and other staff that work in the emergency department. The medical students at Columbia University get a much needed break and plenty of doggy kisses from the five therapy dogs that visit each week.

Has your practice used a therapy pet? If so, we’d love to hear about how therapy pets have helped your patients and we would like to see photos of your therapy pet! Please share your stories with us on our Facebook page.

 

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