Puppy Therapy great for mental wellbeing of people and pups alike
Puppy therapy is a thing? It really is, and it’s been making a difference in peoples’ lives for a long time. At Paws in Work, we see firsthand the difference that some time spent playing with puppies can make. People who have been having a tough day of deadlines and software problems and all of the other things that fill working lives can let go, relax and do something different for a while.
Does puppy therapy work?
Spending time with animals is something that has been proven time and again to have a positive effect on the mental health and wellbeing of people of all ages. There are trained therapy dogs who help to calm people in hospitals, care homes, hospices, schools and even disaster sites. The Mental Health Foundation states that animal therapy can really help people suffering from depression or anxiety.
At our Paws in Work events, it’s immediately clear that playing with our puppy friends makes a big difference to the colleagues who come along. The puppies bring with them a sense of simple, pure fun, with the added bonus being their eagerness to give affection and receive it.
The science of puppy therapy
Playing with puppies, like playing with other animals, can lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. Healthline state that animal therapy can reduce anxiety and assist with depression, interactions with others, motivation and loneliness. Playing with animals can elevate levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax. It can also promote the release of oxytocin, a hormone associated with affection and bonding.
Puppy therapy is good for the puppies too
Being introduced to new people and enjoying simple playtime is a wonderful way for puppies to further develop their socialising and build their confidence. It can help them to understand how to play, how to make new friends and how to understand the world around them better.
The late veterinarian, animal behaviourist, author and lecturer Sophia Yin said in a piece on puppy socialisation that incomplete socialisation can result in dogs with emotional issues when around people or in certain situations. As such, the socialisation they receive while playing with employees at our events is ideal to help them grow up happy.
Awareness of mental health issues and stress is important to the wellbeing of all of us. Through our puppy therapy sessions, Paws in Work is proud to be able to help in our own way.