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Can Animals Improve Your Health?

Posted by Joanne Durfee, Health Link Producer on

Can Animals Improve Your Health? The old saying that 'a dog is man's best friend' couldn't be more true. Animal companions can provide therapeutic benefits, both emotional and physical. Research shows that pets can help lower blood pressure and lessen anxiety. They can also boost our mood and immune systems. Health Link examines how animals are being used in therapeutic ways to facilitate healing and rehabilitation.


Fritz Smith
Director of Empire ServiceDog Program of Albany, N.Y.

Pat Rowe
Therapy dog handler whose two chocolate labs make frequent visits to St. Peter's Health Care Services, St. Claire's Church and Veeder Elementary School.

Karen Stanley-White, P.T.
Physical therapist and executive director of Saratoga Therapeutic Equestrian Program of Glenville, N.Y.
Nanci Beyerl, M.S.W.
Social worker and executive director of Peaceful Acres Horses, Inc. of Pattersonville, N.Y.

Related Resources

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presents information on the health benefits of caring for pets.

• The Delta Society is dedicated to improving human health through service and therapy animals.

Pet presents an article on many of the physical and medical benefits of pets., a non-profit resource focused on helping people resolve many of life's challenges, suggests ways in which caring for a pet can make you happier and healthier.

Therapy Dogs International is a volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registering therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions where therapy dogs are needed.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be medical advice. By clicking the links above, you will be leaving WMHT Educational Telecommunications has *not* made any determination about the quality of the information within these links, nor does it endorse any information, service, product or company included within the links above.

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