Therapy Dogs Provide Anxiety Relief
From children, to airports, to universities, dogs have been an excellent source of anxiety relief.
Research suggests adults who have pet dogs have improved physical activity and mental health. This study led researchers in New York to enroll 643 children at a pediatric clinic where they went for annual checkups. Of the 58% children with dogs in the home, 12% showed symptoms of potential anxiety, compared with 21% in children without a pet dog.
“Having a pet dog in the home was associated with a decreased probability of childhood anxiety.”
Pet dogs are believed to reduce anxiety through:
- Physical activity
- Conversation (dogs are fantastic listeners)
The Edmonton International Airport has recruited therapy dogs to relax stressed out travelers since the entire experience can be quite overwhelming. This was the first time that something like this had been implemented at a Canadian airport. Volunteers take therapy dogs through the airport around three times a week.
“What’s even better, they [the dogs] are paid only in hugs.”
Lastly, at the University of Alberta, therapy dogs have been brought in to bring comfort to students who are experiencing the stresses of school work and exams. The trained dogs and their handlers are no strangers to the long lineups of students, ready to hug the big, friendly canines.