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At Oaklawn, we have more than just the usual visitors. If you’ve happened to notice one of our furry friends on the premises, this wasn’t just by random coincidence. In fact, we’ve enlisted the help of man’s best friend to not only brighten the days of our patients, but provide extra health benefits as well.
Pet Therapy has gained popularity in recent years as many of its advantages have come to light. From schools to nursing homes, mental health facilities to hospitals, trained therapy dogs are being used in a variety of settings as a non-traditional approach to wellness.
So what exactly are the benefits of letting a therapy dog visit with our patients? One answer is obvious: a snuggly, furry friend makes people smile and that alone counts for a lot when someone is ill or recovering from surgery. But it goes much deeper than that. According to Paws for People, the list of benefits is quite impressive. Physically, patients can experience things like lowered blood pressure, improved cardiovascular health, and an overall sense of calmness that can even reduce the amount of medication some patients need.
When it comes to mental health, pet therapy can decrease anxiety and depression, reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, and can motivate a patient to work towards a faster recovery, just to name a few.
Needless to say, we’re very excited to add Pet Therapy to the list of services offered at Oaklawn, and our patients are loving it too. If you happen to see one of our therapy dogs at your next Oaklawn visit, feel free to say hello. After all, it could brighten your day more than you might think.
WWMT Channel 3 News did a feature news story about Pet Therapy at Oaklawn for their “Health Matters” segment. The video can be seen below.