I just got back from visiting the kids at Adolfo Camarillo High School during their “Say Aloha to Your Health” day. The event was designed to celebrate and spread health and wellness.
Being a Therapy Dog means I get to attend events like today’s a spread my own brand of puppy love. But having a therapy dog at any school has many benefits. In fact, therapy dogs have been called “miracle workers” because of their calming effect on students and teachers.
This is nothing new. Therapy dogs have been active in schools for some time. Teachers and administrators have witnessed the effects therapy dogs have on students and themselves.
The benefits of having therapy dogs in the classroom include:
- Physical benefits
Interaction with therapy dogs has been shown to reduce blood pressure, provide physical stimulation and assist with pain management.
- Social benefits
A visiting therapy dog promotes greater self-esteem and focused interaction with other students and teachers.
- Cognitive benefits
It has been empirically proven that therapy dogs stimulate memory and problem-solving skills.
- Emotional and mental health benefits
A recent national survey of adolescent mental health found that about 8 to 10 percent of teens ages 13 to 18 have an anxiety disorder. A therapy dog can lift moods in the classroom, often provoking laughter. The therapy dog is also there to offer friendship and a shoulder to lean on for students.
That’s a lot of benefit for a little volunteer work. And I benefit too! I get to hang out with some cool kids, take pictures and show off some of my tricks. I’d say visiting the kids at Adolfo Camarillo High School today was a true win/win! Woof!