November 09th

When the Teacher’s Pet is a Therapy Dog!

Feeling stressed? Your pet snuggles up beside you and after a few kisses and a belly rub (for your pet!), you start to feel better. Scientific studies confirm what pet owners have always known:  interaction with a pet reduces stress. Now schools are starting to see the benefits of therapy dogs helping students in stressful classroom environments. Here are just a few of the many ways they are making tails wag in schools.

Promoting good mental health

Therapy dogs can lift moods and even create appropriate giggles in a classroom when some students might be feeling anxious. Students who struggle with confidence get a boost from the presence of a loving and accepting pet.

Creating compassion

Learning how to interact with a therapy dog and understanding appropriate care of pets help children grow to be compassionate. Students develop a sense of responsibility, increased self-esteem and respect for “nonperson” life.

Improving reading

Canine reading programs are taking the stress out of learning to read. When a student reads to a therapy dog, often cuddled together, blood pressure is lowered and reading becomes fun! The unconditional acceptance of the dog helps students who struggle with word recognition and worry about making mistakes.

Helping the bottom line

Many schools struggle to find funding for counselors and programs outside of the core academic curriculum. Therapy dog programs often are volunteer-based and don’t add to the school’s budget. And better yet, many therapy dogs are shelter animals which provides the additional opportunity for students to understand the importance of pet adoption.

Does your child’s school have a therapy dog program?  We’d love to hear from you! Send us an email: info@bissellpetfoundation.org