does puppy therapy really work?
There’s no arguing that puppy therapy sounds like a great way for your employees to spend an afternoon. But if you’re responsible for your organisation's mental health strategy, you probably want to be sure that you’re investing in something that is proven to work. We’ve been providing puppy therapy to some of the biggest names in business for years and we’ve got some great news for you, puppy therapy definitely works.
Our founder Ash began to notice the positive benefits that his dog had on his mental health at key points in his life. Firstly when he lost his mum to cancer and again when he experienced ill mental health after his son was born. It occurred to Ash that anybody could experience mental health struggles at any point in their life. He saw first-hand that animals could play a key part in supporting people and reducing stress.
But as much as Ash knew he was on to something, success would depend on much more than a gut feeling. So he set about looking into dog therapy in London, exploring the impact of pet therapy on wellbeing and seeking out like-minded professionals who could support his mission. And, after much hard work and planning, our unique one-of-a-kind puppy therapy sessions were launched!
the facts about puppy therapy.
There’s a tonne of research by organisations such as the Mental Health Foundation that explores how animals can improve mental wellbeing. Many studies also look at how pets can benefit their people or how therapy dogs can support individuals in recovery situations. Evidence also suggests that people can benefit from shorter bursts of interactions with our furry friends. In 2019, for example, a team from Washington State University discovered that just ten minutes of interaction led to reductions in cortisol levels.
When people interact with puppies, oxytocin levels in the brain are also boosted, and this helps to create a sense of calm and focus. This, along with the rush of dopamine that comes with belly rubs, is why our puppy therapy sessions can have such a positive impact on the people who take part in them. And once stress levels start to lower, often blood pressure can be reduced and heart rate becomes slower.
But aside from the science behind our puppy therapy, there are often benefits for people that you can’t always measure. Our puppy therapy sessions give employees the opportunity to take time out and get to know each other better. We create a relaxed environment where they can take a break and chat openly away from their desks - some even get to experience their bosses making silly noises at a puppy, who wouldn’t love that? The sessions are always a great morale booster and they reduce stress which is a key way to help them be more productive in their jobs.
how do our puppy therapy sessions work?
First, we’ll carry out a full risk assessment at your chosen venue ensuring the best possible experience for you and our pups - the welfare of our puppies is our number one priority. This helps us create the perfect puppy playground to help you make the most of your time and get the maximum possible cuddles.
Before your sessions start, our team of experts will be busy preparing the space and helping the puppies get used to their surroundings. This will include scents to help the puppies get settled in, plenty of chew toys and relaxing music. And then we’ll invite your teams in and carry out a full health and safety briefing which includes showing your employees how to handle the pups in the best way. After this, everyone is free to sit and cuddle, play or just observe and have a catch-up. We’ll also be on hand for a chat and answer any questions that people may have.
Do our puppy therapy sessions work? Absolutely. And they are ideal as a stand-alone activity, or they can play a part in your wider wellbeing strategy or mental health training. If you want to give your employees the opportunity to play with puppies in London, then why not get in touch with us to find out more?