Monthly Archives: October 2017

Benefits of Pet Therapy

Therapy dog with elderly patient

Photo by Zachary Wolf

Pet therapy is a broad term that includes animal-assisted therapy and other animal-assisted activities. It is essentially a type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment and rehabilitation. Patients in hospitals or nursing homes can benefit from pet therapy, especially children and the elderly. 

Animals have been a benefit to human’s well being for thousands of years. Only in recent decades have they been recognized for the physical and mental health benefits they give people and pet therapy might be recommended by a doctor.

Benefits of pet therapy

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Decreasing effects of depression
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Improves social skills
  • Improves motor skills and joint movement
  • Increases verbal communication
  • Increases willingness to join in activities
  • Decreases loneliness and isolation
  • Can provide motivation to exercise
  • Helps teach empathy and nurturing skills

People who benefit from pet therapy

  • Stroke victims
  • Children having dental procedure
  • People undergoing chemotherapy
  • Residents in long-term care facilities
  • People hospitalized with chronic heart failure
  • Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • People hospitalized with chronic heart failure
  • Children having physical or dental procedures
  • People undergoing physical therapy
  • Patients working to regain motor skills
  • People with mental health disorders
  • People suffering from suicidal thoughts

Could pet therapy be of benefit to you?

You should ask your doctor, therapist or caregiver if pet therapy could be of benefit to you. They could recommend a certified pet therapy organization for you to get in touch with. 

Even if you don’t suffer from some of the more serious issues above, any pet owner can tell you how they benefit from their animal friends. If you are physically capable of caring for a pet yourself, you can get a dog, cat or other pet to be your companion. They will keep you company, ease stress and depression and maybe help you meet new people. 

Why Do Dogs Have a Favorite Person?

Dogs favorite person

Does your dog have a favorite person?

Lots of dogs have a favorite human. Usually, they make it really obvious who their favorite human is. It’s the person they’re always running to first, always following around.

Sometimes it creates problems in the pet owners home when the dog really favors one over the other. It can make the less favored human wonder “What did I do? Why don’t they love me that much?”

So, why do dogs have a favorite person?

All dogs are different, but there are some common reasons why a dog may favor one human over another. 

The person there for the socialization period

Dogs have an important socialization period between birth and six months.  This is the age where puppies’ brains are developing. Their brains are very receptive and the social experiences the dog has during this time can influence them for the rest of their lives. 

The person who is there during this period, who has more positive experiences with the dog at this period, can become the favored human. Sometimes, any person who resembles the human who was there during the socialization period can become favored.

As a side note, this is why it is important for dogs to be socialized to many different types of people during this period. It will help them be comfortable with more people later on.

Attention

Unsurprisingly, most dogs tend to bond with the person who gives them the most attention. They may also prefer the person who feeds them frequently. Dogs also will usually fall in love with the person who gives them the most physical attention and love. Lots of petting, brushing, massaging can cause a dog to love that person the most. Sometimes they will love the person who plays with them the most. Again, all dogs are different.

Related: Foods that are dangerous for dogs

Positive association

Closely related to above, dogs can choose their favorites based on positive associations. The human the dog associates good, positive, warm feelings with will be the favorite. This might be the person who always has the treats, always plays games with and other reasons.

Human and dog personality

Much like people, dogs are attracted to people who have a similar personality to them. A dog who loves to play and roughhouse will be attracted to the person who feels the same way. A dog who likes predictable, quiet time on the couch, will find the person who enjoys the same things. 

Related: Tips for leaving your dog on vacation

You can still become your dogs favorite

Just because you’re not your dog’s favorite doesn’t mean that you can’t do things to increase the bond between the two of you. 

How to be your dog’s favorite

  • Spend lots of time with them during their first six months
  • Spend more one on one time together every day
  • Play your dog’s favorite games with them
  • Do dog training or skills training together
  • Take your dog for more walks
  • Be the one to give your dog treats
  • If your dog enjoys grooming then groom them frequently
  • Avoid being associated with the things your dog hates
  • Create positive associations with you and the dog’s favorite things

 

The Pet’s Home provides in-home pet sitting services, as well as pet sitting, dog sitting, cat sitting, puppy training and pet taxi services in the Plainfield, Oswego, Naperville and Shorewood area. 

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841


Image source: Pexels