Reasons for Therapy Dogs
Luca, left, is an (almost) 4-pound Maltipoo, a mix of Maltese and Poodle. He is hypoallergenic, friendly, and comforting. (If you are uncomfortable with him, he'll stay on my lap.)
The presence of animals in therapy causes significant improvements in mood, pain, and measures of mental stress. They lower blood pressure and help you stay grounded in the here and now.
The effect of an animal’s presence is so great that, in Austria and Germany, pet ownership was linked to a 3.86 billion dollar savings in medical costs over 10 years.*
*Heady, B.; Grabka, M.; Kelley, J.; Reddy, P.; Tseng, Y.P. Pet ownership is good for your health and saves public expenditure too. Australian and German longitudinal evidence. Aust. Soc. Monit. 2002,5, 93–99.