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Crawl Walk Jump Run Blog

Pets: Your Four Legged Therapist

During this uncertain time, many of us may have increased anxiety levels and increased feelings of loneliness and isolation.  One positive aspect of spending more time at home is that those of us with pets get to spend more quality time with our furry, scaled, and feathered friends!

The National Institute of Health (part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) states that some of the health benefits of interacting with a pet are:

  • Decreased levels of the stress hormone, cortisol
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Improved mood
  • Improved social skills and emotional skills in children

According to NIH, studies show that dogs can help children with ADHD with focus, attention, and social skills while decreasing behavioral problems in the classroom.  Additionally, a study was conducted that showed that children with ASD demonstrated improved self regulation, decreased anxiety, and improved social engagement with peers after 10 min of supervised playtime with guinea pigs. 

Animals have the incredible ability to be present in the moment and love unconditionally that is especially beneficial to us in this time of up-ended routines and uncertainty. So, let us take a moment to appreciate our animal friends and their ability to improve our physical and mental health.  Lots of barks and tailwags from the CWJR family to yours.

Written by: Elizabeth Horsch, COTAL

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