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Healing Paws in Traverse City - Dog Integrative Therapy

by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 8. March 2017 13:04

Integrative therapy is often referred to as holistic therapy because it uses natural methods of healing, along with traditional medicine. Integrative therapy emphasizes working to heal not only the body but also the mind and spirit. Some methods involved in integrative therapy include massage, music therapy, acupuncture, and dog therapy.

Dog integrative therapy has proven to be a successful method of healing for many patients. Interacting with dogs can reduce stress, increase happiness, and improve overall health. There are studies that show the simple act of petting a dog can lower blood pressure and heart rate. That’s why so many dogs are trained as therapy dogs and spend their days interacting with patients.

Therapy dogs are trained to interact with sick or recovering patients at doctor’s offices, hospitals, disaster areas, and at home. Although any dog can be a calming companion, some of the top breeds for therapy dogs include Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Greyhounds. These dogs are known to be highly intelligent, and especially good at interacting with people. Therapy dogs must go through intensive training in order to be certified through a national dog therapy organization. Training can take years, and the job of being a therapy dog often lasts a lifetime.

Some of the tasks of a therapy dog include:

-Providing amusement

-Encouraging social interaction

-Stimulating the mind

-Reducing loneliness

-Providing a break from medical procedures

-Comforting sick patients’ family members

Therapy dogs are especially effective at working with children and the elderly. These patients respond particularly well to having a canine companion in the room. No matter your age, it’s no secret that sometimes a friendly lick from a playful pup is the best medicine in the world. If you are interested in learning more about dog integrative therapy in the Traverse City area, contact the Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital. We help dogs from Traverse City, Elk Rapids, and Kalkaska each day to be their best, most healthy selves.



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