In recent years it has become more and more obvious the huge role dogs play in healing, assisting and protecting people.
Their unconditional love for us has them going above and beyond their duties as man’s best friend. So, how can dogs help people?
High blood pressure tends to drop when a dog is snuggled up next to a stressed out person.
Heart attack victims who own pets usually have a better chance of surviving longer than those who don’t. Dogs help heart attack victims get out and walk around the block instead of sitting at home being depressed.
In fact, I find it very difficult to be depressed around a dog. They always have a way of making me feel better. Dogs heal broken hearts and wounded souls.
Dogs are used as therapy pets visiting nursing homes and hospitals.
They bring smiles to many sick, elderly or terminally ill people. They help others with rehabilitation therapy, such as encouraging someone to use their arms by throwing a ball for a dog.
Seniors who live alone can sometimes become depressed and withdrawn.
But if a dog is brought into the home as a companion for an elderly person, that person may have a noticeable change in personality.
Suddenly they have someone to talk to and keep them company, someone who will love them unconditionally and regardless of how many times they repeat themselves or how they look.
They also have an alarm system now to alert them to a possible home invasion or other emergency situation. Most dogs are protective of their homes and will bark to alert of any intruders.
Having a dog to take care of also gets a senior out into the world, whether it’s simply to take the dog to the grooming shop for a haircut or nail trim or go for a short walk in the park. Dogs help seniors get out and socialize.
Then of course there are assistance dogs, such as seeing eye dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, dogs that are taught to do certain tasks for paraplegics or other disabled persons and dogs actually prescribed by physicians as companions for severely depressed individuals.
It is well known that some dogs are able to sense when their person is about to have a heart attack or a seizure or when their blood sugar is low. Some dogs even sniff out cancer.
And these are only a few of the means by which dogs are able to help the sick or disabled.
The condition or phobia called agoraphobia is when a person has for some reason become too panic-stricken to venture outside of the home. In some cases, a dog is able to gradually help the person overcome this paralyzing condition and once again go out in public. Dogs help heal phobias.
The same thing is true for some people who have conditions such as panic attacks or are manic-depressive. If they have a dog to embrace or talk to during an episode, it can calm them. Dogs offer mental health support without even realizing it.
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Chemicals are released within our brain as a warm furry dog snuggles up close to us. Our emotions are influenced by changes in our brain chemistry.
Such biochemicals as dopamine, beta-endorphins and oxytocin are released in our bloodstream when we bond with a living creature such as a dog.
This stimulates positive effects including tranquility, happiness, feelings of safety and even love.
Dogs are being used to help us heal more than ever before.
They are able to
I believe God uses dogs to help us in ways other humans maybe can’t. And these are just a few.
So, can a dog’s unconditional love help people heal? That would be a resounding “yes”!
Below is a video of how one dog helped a veteran overcome his PTSD when everything else failed.