What are the Benefits of having a therapy dog in the classroom?
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.