The Tremendous Healing Power of Dogs
Dogs are an incredible blessing in our lives. That simply cannot be denied. They are always happy to see us and spend time with us. Their love is truly unconditional.
But have you ever considered the tremendous healing power dogs bring us? They are very intuitive when it comes to our emotional needs and are packaged up in an adorable furry package that is just made for making things better.
Whether you’re sick, injured a little down or dealing with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, dogs have a way to make healing a little bit easier.
Here’s a few examples of the tremendous healing power of dogs:
- Touch: The power of touch cannot be underestimated. Pets and cuddles are all good for our emotional and even our physical well being. So if you have a dog, take advantage of that opportunity to use touch to heal. Your dog will love it too!
- Emotional Support: Of course, there are dogs who are trained to be emotional support animals…but your dog doesn’t need special training to provide that support. If you’ve ever been sick or sad, your dog simply knows he needs to be by your side and just be there for you.
- Someone Who Listens: Now it’s true that dogs may not understand all of our words, but they understand our tone and sometimes, we just need to vent or share our problems with someone who doesn’t judge, but just listens.
- Sense Impending Health Threats: Dogs have been trained to alert of coming seizures and studies have shown dogs can alert their diabetic humans of hypoglycemic episodes. There is also research in many other areas where dogs can detect health issues and threats in humans.
- Helping with PTSD and Other Psychological Injuries: The Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs provides psychiatric assistance dogs to eligible veterans as part of the treatment and management of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These dogs are specially trained to help and they play an important role in clinical recovery. For example, a dog might wake a veteran experiencing a night terror or nuzzle their handler to distract them from emotionally disabling symptoms.
Those are just a few ways because the ways dogs help us heal are just as numerous as the number of people who have dogs…each story is unique.
Dogs help humans of all ages
Dog owners report being able to recover from broken relationships, curb anxiety, stay sober and more. And it doesn’t matter how old you are. The tremendous healing power of dogs can help children and adults of all ages.
There’s a reason dogs are used in care homes for the elderly and in hospitals with sick children. They do create a happy distraction for everyday pain or preoccupation with health issues and they’re really good at it.
According to Medical News Today, owning a dog can reduce your risk of premature death by one third. And Harvard Medical School says that owning a dog can reduce your risk of heart disease. These are all incredible insights.
Now it’s true that sometimes these health benefits come from our dogs forcing us to be more active…and that’s also a good thing.
Whilst dogs love us unconditionally and have the power to heal us in so many ways, sometimes they need us to return the favour when they’re the ones that are anxious and unsettled. Rescue dogs are often suffering from past traumas and may need our particular care.
Sometimes your dog might need extra love and attention
Our furry friends need a consistent, predictable routine to feel safe and secure. In situations that change their environment such as moving, travelling, introducing a new pet or baby to the family, we can give them extra love and attention, perhaps even some calming treats to help them through.
Barking too loudly, hiding or cowering, and restlessness are common signs of stress. Be sure to watch for the signs so you can comfort your furry friend just as they always seem to know when you need them close by. Dogs can literally panic when they’re around loud noises, such as fireworks or thunder, and this can lead to anxiety-driven or even aggressive behaviour, which can jeopardise their safety.
Here’s ways you can help if you find yourself and your dog in self-isolation.
Knowing in advance when our dogs are likely to be anxious helps us to prepare and to be as patient, loving and healing to them as they are to us.
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