Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan have recently found that therapy dogs can have a profound effect on ER patients. Therapy dogs are known to help with mental illness and distress, and now physical distress can be included in their comforting abilities.
Close to 200 ER patients were involved in this study. Approximately half of the patients were able to spend ten minutes with a certified therapy dog while the other half acted as a control group. Both groups were surveyed on their pain levels before and after the visit with the therapy dog.
The patients that were able to spend time with the dog reported lower pain levels before the visit. Therapy dogs have already been widely utilized in providing comfort in places such as prisons, nursing homes, and schools. This new study suggests they may have an even larger impact and further reach.
It’s important to love what you do, and researchers believe the therapy dogs are getting just as much joy out of their work as they give the people they help. Therapy dogs love people so comforting those in pain whether mental or, now, physical is the best job for them.
This research finally gives some scientific proof to what many already believe. Dogs are truly healing. Original reporting by NPR.