His love is unconditional, selfless, without terms, limits and conditions. He supports you psychologically, offers you affection, understands your feelings and above all does not judge you for your mistakes, or for how you are, or for who you are socially. The dog is not just an animal, he is a friend that we will remember all our lives.
This friend, and the care he shows you, has a truly healing effect on the human body. This is the claim of the researchers of a study published in the journal PLOS One and referring to the results of a controlled clinical trial of the effect of dog treatment on pain in adults in the Emergency Department.
Dogs can help us relieve pain
What has been found is that just 10 minutes with the four-legged therapist can help alleviate the level of pain.
In particular, during a clinical trial in several Canadian hospitals, more than 200 ICU patients were asked to report their pain level on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest pain level).
One group received no intervention to reduce their pain, while participants in the other group had 10 minutes with a treatment dog. The patients then rated their pain levels.
It was noted that those who had time with the treatment dogs reported less pain. In addition to the intervention of the treatment dogs, significant changes in anxiety, depression, as well as their general well-being were observed.
The results clearly show what canine therapists have long said… that canine affection “cures” illnesses such as mental illness by giving patients optimism and improving many other physical symptoms.
There is research showing that pets are an important part of our health in several ways. They motivate us, wake us up, (give us) routines, strengthen the human-animal bond.
The results of this study help us stop wondering if treatment dogs are useful in a medical context and start asking how they help and how best to integrate them with healthcare groups.