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Why Pet Therapy?

“Delta Therapy dog teams have encouraged residents to leave the confines of their rooms for the first time in months, to extend their hand post-stroke or surgery, to walk, to talk, to smile, to laugh, to remember, to forget, and to reminisce about their own animals.” Jo Magson, Lifestyle Coordinator at St David's Village Assisted Care Facility, Forestville , NSW

Companion animals bring joy to the lives of twelve million Australians and now there is evidence they are also literally good for your health and wellbeing! Through our Therapy Dogs program, the Delta Society aims to bring these benefits to the sick and infirm – children and adults who are in hospitals and nursing homes around Australia.

Labs   Pets elderly  Group 

We love our pets

 More than 63% of Australian households own a pet:

  • 40% own dogs
  • 26% own cats
  • 53% own a dog and/or cat
  • 91% of pet owners feel very close to their pet
  • 83% of Australians have had a pet at some time in their lives

Proven health benefits

Research has shown that pets provide owners with both psychological and physiological benefits and the majority are healthier than those without pets. Compared with non-pet owners, pet owners:

  • Typically visit the doctor less often and use less medication
  • On average have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure
  • Recover more quickly from illness and surgery
  • Deal better with stressful situations
  • Show lower levels of risk factors associated with heart disease

Pets and the elderly

Pets have been shown to increase quality of life, including:

  • Reducing tension, fatigue and confusion
  • Increasing enthusiasm, interest and inspiration
  • Pets delay the ageing process through increased physical exercise and socialisation, and increased mental functioning – through talking to and caring for them
  • Pets boost activity levels, and dogs help people keep an active routine, providing a reason to get up in the morning
  • Pet owners are less likely to report feeling lonely

Why pet therapy helps in aged care

  • Elderly pet owners who must enter aged care facilities report feelings of loss when they have to leave their pets behind
  • Pets provide one of the few interventions capable of permanently lifting the atmosphere of hospices and nursing homes
  • Pet therapy has been proven to provide many of the benefits of pet ownership

Scientifically proven benefits of Delta Dog Therapy

  • Physical – interaction with a furry friend reduces blood pressure, provides tactile stimulation, assists with pain management, gives motivation to move, walk and stimulates the senses
  • Social – a visit with a dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, promotes greater self esteem and well being, and focused interaction with others
  • Cognitive – Canine companionship stimulates memory, problem solving and game playing
  • Emotional – an adorable four-legged visitor improves self-esteem, acceptance from others, calming effect, lifts mood often provoking laughter
  • Environmental – a dog in a facility decreases the feeling of a sterile environment, lifts mood and this continues after visit

(Data courtesy of the Australian Companion Animal Council)