We all know that dog is man's best friend, but did you know that the unique bond between humans and their dogs can be more than just companionship? Studies show that dogs, as well as other animals, can provide important benefits to our health.
Come meet our "paw-fully" cute pet therapy dogs from UnityPoint Health - Des Moines at this week's Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market. These loveable canines provide hours of comfort to patients in our hospitals and will be ready to give you some attention, too!
What is Pet Therapy?
Animal assisted therapy, also referred to as pet therapy, is a growing field that uses dogs and other pets to help children and adults recover from or cope with a range of health problems. Registered therapy dogs are tested for good health and temperament to safely visit patients during their hospital stay. These patients have the opportunity to pet, play, and interact with the dogs as well as talk to their handlers, giving them something to look forward to each week.
Benefits of Pet Therapy
In addition to providing a welcomed distraction from their ongoing medical issues, research suggests that pet therapy causes people to feel less pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Animal assisted therapy to comfort a variety of patients, including:
- Cancer and heart attack patients in the hospital
- Children and adults with physical and mental disabilities
- Children facing long-term hospitalization
- Aging adults in nursing homes, hospitals, hospice and retirement homes
- Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Labradors and Poodles and Retrievers! Oh my!
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines has a team of 44 certified dogs, whose handlers bring them to our hospitals several times a week through Volunteer Services. Our pet therapy services are available to patients and their families staying at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Blank Children's Hospital and Iowa Lutheran Hospital.
While you are out and about exploring The Market, stop by our tent located at 3rd & Court to meet our friendly animal assisted therapy dogs and collect doggie trading cards to keep the fun going all day long.
We'll See You at The Market!