Canine assisted psychotherapy (CAP) uses dogs to help both psychological and physiological problems. Dogs are nonjudgmental listeners whose presence has been shown to have health benefits, such as lower symptoms of stress, lower blood pressure, and lower anxiety. Being with dogs has also shown improved confidence, purpose, and motivation.
Therapy dogs have a unique ability to sense a human that’s suffering. A simple touch from a therapy dog triggers the release of oxytocin, the chemical found in humans who are in love or bonding with friends, and immediately makes a person feel calmer and happier. Dogs can be especially helpful for children, who are often more willing to interact with an animal then a person.