Healing through Pet Therapy

Did you know that pets, like music, can be good for your health?

According to the National Center for Health Research, people who have a pet have healthier hearts, stay home sick less often, make fewer visits to the doctor, get more exercise and are less depressed. Studies show that pet ownership may also significantly help with social support as well as social interactions with other people.

Recently, the Recorder spoke with the executive director of Paws and Think, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit agency, that has been helping to improve the lives of others through human-dog interaction since 2001. P&T’s unique focus is on helping both canines and humans who are dealing with difficult times through various programs.

Animals provide a safe and non-judgmental partner to all ages, and the chemical reactions to touch are seen in both the human and the animal. Art and music therapies cannot chase away loneliness in an elderly person. They cannot provide the warmth of the body or the beating heart that an animal can, says volunteer coordinator Kathy Janes.

For more information on Paws and Think, visit pawsandthink.org.

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