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Pets And The Road To Recovery: How Your Dog Could Help You Heal Faster

Being admitted to a hospital, medical rehabilitation facility, or any setting that is not the comfort of home can be unsettling and stressful. And this can be especially challenging to those recovering from an injury or illness who are already stressed.

In order for you to properly heal and return home quickly, you need to address these components of your life:

  • Stress levels
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Mental wellbeing
  • Social wellbeing

And pet therapy is one of the few therapies available to patients that has the ability to address each component to a successful recovery.

What Is Pet Therapy?

Pet therapy isn’t a new idea. In fact, it can be traced back as far as 1860, when Florence Nightingale first commented on the positive impact of small animals, such as dogs, on those with chronic illness.

The unconditional love of a pet can have an undeniable calming effect on a patient. Contact with pets counteracts the body’s fight-or-flight stress response by lowering stress hormones and heart rate. They can also lower our psychological responses to stress (anxiety and fear levels) and help keep us calm.

Dogs are, without question, family members. And they have the same ability – sometimes more so – to calm a patient down and give them something familiar to focus on, as their human counterparts.

Stress and Healing

When recovering from an injury or surgical procedure, wound healing is a critical process. If a wound heals poorly, the risk for infections or complications escalates, resulting in longer hospital and rehabilitation stays, increased patient discomfort, and a reduction in quality of living.

Psychological stress has been found to negatively affect a wound’s ability to health and studies show there is a “direct correlation between psychological stress and wound healing, making the relationship between psychological stress and wound repair not only statistically significant, but also clinically relevant.”

Because we understand that a patient’s comfort and well-being will directly affect their recovery, The Arbors has always been open to therapies with proven, positive outcomes. When a patient comes into our facility, we fully support their desire to have their dog visit them while they’re healing from an injury or surgery. As long as they supply up-to-date short records, patients are welcome to have their pet visit.

At The Arbors, we’ll work with you to create the most accommodating atmosphere to healing possible while you’re in our care. If you or a loved one is expecting to need the services of a rehabilitation center, come take a tour of our facility and let us show you how our highly skilled staff and thoughtful services can help you heal.

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