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When you envision companion care, you probably see a caregiver helping your mother with her meals or reminding your father to take his medication. Companions are known for doing housework and engaging your loved one in conversation.

But let’s envision a different type of companionship, the four-legged kind. We have all noticed the effects of a dog waddling up to you, nuzzling you, and quietly begging for affection. Immediately we begin to relax and smile. There is evidence of this phenomenon. In 2008 new stories explained that interacting with animals lowers blood pressure and raises serotonin levels.

Recent research shows that the bond between pets and humans raises our oxytocin levels. Oxytocin helps us feel happy.

Canines offer a number of advantages to their human companions. They can help eliminate loneliness and depression among their owners. Some health benefits can be noticed as well, since petting a dog helps to lower one’s blood pressure while decreasing heart rates.

The elderly can benefit the most from canine companionship; however, for many senior citizens, owning a dog just isn’t possible. This could be because they are residing in a nursing home or assisted care facility, or simply lack the physical ability to care for a dog. In these instances, consider home care Denver that includes dog therapy.

Not only that, animals are so loving, understanding, and loyal. They forgive our faults and they are very good listeners. We all need a listening ear, especially our loved ones. Animals also relieve loneliness and anxiety. Perhaps your loved one had to give up a pet because they could not care for themselves and their pet. If so, pet therapy may be a good option for them.

Many would think that only pet owners could reap these benefits, but that is not the case. Your loved one can experience these benefits with just a short visit from a four-legged friend. Of course if Mom or Dad wants to adopt a dog or cat of their own, they would reap more health benefits. However, keep in mind that they may need your assistance in caring for their dog or cat.

Therapy dogs are animals that have had specialized training. This training allows them to provide comfort to those in hospitals, nursing homes or to shut-ins. These dogs come in many different sizes and breeds, and are chosen for their disposition and outgoing nature. This category of working canine is gentle, even-tempered, and enjoys human companionship. Therapy dogs are not intimidated by strangers, and will not act aggressively when approached by an unfamiliar person.

Dog therapy involves bringing one of these animals to visit an elderly person on a regular basis. Most people come to look forward to one of these visits with great anticipation. While petting or holding a therapy dog, many find a sense of peace and comfort they would not be able to enjoy otherwise.

Senior citizens often have to forego a lot of things as they grow older. For many, this includes pet ownership. Those who have owned a dog for much of their lives may find themselves unable to care for an animal and have to give it up. This can leave an empty void in their lives that can somewhat be filled with regular visits from a therapy dog.