Pet Therapy: Cold Noses and Warm Hearts
Reduce Stress and Increase Relaxation
- Clinical tests showed lower blood pressure and slower heart rates when patients were petting animals.
- Similar tests showed equal relaxation effects when petting animals as when reading.
Hospital Patients and Nursing Home Residents
- Interaction with a dog improves mood, alertness, reality orientation, and interaction with others.
- Alzheimer's patients with communication problems seem to able to talk more easily to a pet than to humans.
- Animals often stimulate conversation between patients who often would have no reason to communicate.
- Animals seem to trigger long-term memory in Alzheimer's patients.
- Therapy animals, particularly dogs, can be a tremendous help during the grieving process, because they offer unconditional love.
- Therapy dogs were used extensively in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing and the World Trade Center terrorist attacks to comfort rescue workers and family members awaiting news about loved-ones.
Humane Society of Central Illinois
423 Kays Drive
Normal, IL 61761-1958