Monday, April 29, 2019

How animals can help cancer patients...

When I was in the hospital getting my chemotherapy ( my induction chemo- May2017) I had the best visitor. A cute puppy named Sandy. Although its been about two years from meeting him I still remember the feeling I got when he was there. I was 29 and super scared of what I was going through and seeing that little face totally helped me. It was so wonderful to have my anxiety put at ease ( even though it was just a short meeting). Service animals are awesome.
 
 

Therapy dogs provide much-needed emotional support to cancer patients, who are vulnerable to depression and isolation as the disease impacts their lives. Spending time with a dog—petting its soft fur, talking without fear of judgment, and being on the receiving end of all that unconditional love—can help raise their spirits even while their body is feeling awful. Web Source
For cancer patients, the healing qualities of dogs are immeasurable. Here are just a few of the important things dogs can provide to people with cancer:
  • Relaxation. Spending time with an animal is soothing, and can be a vital respite in the course of a busy, often painful day.
  • Safety. Dogs are great listeners, and cancer patients can talk to them about their fears (or choose not to talk and simply enjoy their company in quiet).
  • Tactile sensation. Petting an animal releases endorphins, which reduces stress and improves mood.
  • Distraction. Paying attention to a dog can help patients forget about their pain and frustration for a time, which invites healing and improved health.
  • Socialization. Dogs invite conversation, and can help patients express themselves more freely to doctors and loved ones.
According to the National Service Animal Registry, a service dog differs from an emotional therapy or support dog because it is “trained to perform major life tasks to assist people with physical or severe psychiatric impairments/disabilities.” Service dogs can be trained to:
  • Assist in walking and prevent falls
  • Turn lights and appliances on and off
  • Carry groceries, bags, and packages
  • Pick up items that are dropped or out of reach
  • Bark for help and/or retrieve a phone
For a cancer survivor facing new challenges and abilities in the wake of their treatment, a service dog can provide help and encourage independence.

If you or a loved one is living with cancer, chances are you have access to therapy dogs. Here are just a few resources for cancer treatment centers with therapy dog programs. Ask your doctor about additional resources in your area.

If your cancer diagnosis has resulted in permanent disability, you may qualify for a long-term assistance dog. Visit Service Dog Central for more information.
If your dog is calm, gentle, and well-behaved, she might be a good fit for therapy dog training. Being a therapy dog handler can be incredibly rewarding, as you’re helping your dog make a real difference in the lives of people in need. These are just a few resources to get you started:
Of course, animal-assisted therapy may not be fore everyone. Some cancer patients have compromised immune systems, and exposure to a dog (plus all the stuff they can carry around on their coat, paws, and mouth) is not a good idea. Check out this list of things to consider before animal therapy, and be sure to consult with a medical professional before pursuing this or any course of treatment.

For cancer patients who qualify, dog therapy, assistance dogs, and even just time with a beloved family pet can have an incredible impact on mood and health. It’s something us dog people have always known: dogs improve our lives, and sometimes even save them.


Also keeping your dog healthy is super important. Web Source Obesity is one of the top reasons a dogs life can be cut short. Just look at the statistics and there can be no denying this worldwide trend.  The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) reports that, in 2017, an estimated 56% of dogs in North America are obese.  This is a truly shocking statistic and it tells us that there needs to be a major overhaul in the mindset of us pet owners.
For more info check out the link! Web Source

 

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