Most people love having animals around; they seem to lift up the mood or make a dull day seem brighter. Others love animals solely for loyalty and companionship they offer. That’s why many people have or use therapy animals.
Therapy animals also known as emotional support animals, are said to have many benefits in owning or spending time with one. Some physical benefits of therapy dogs are that they can help lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, release calming endorphins and lower overall physical pain. According to Rebarn Pet Products, it is said that the act of petting produces a relaxation response that reduces the amount of medication needed by some people.
Some mental health benefits of therapy animals are that they are said to help lower depression, feelings of isolation and alienation, reduce anxiety, help communication and provide comfort.
Many College’s bring therapy dogs to their campus around mid-terms and finals week to help relax the students and make them destress. It can lift the atmosphere for the students to help them feel less nervous about finals.
Janelle Vibanco, studying to be a physical therapist, said that she really does feel like the therapy animals help. She too has a dog of her own and expressed how ever since she bought her dog she felt happier and believes that the dog changed and uplifted her mood, “It feels nice to always have my companion with me,” said Vibanco.
Kenny Schemmer, a psychology major, expressed how he does see some benefits for therapy animals for those who have certain conditions like Autism and PTSD. However, he also feels that others use the animals as distractions to their problems instead of finding a ongoing solution that may be more beneficial.
Jodi Balma, a political science professor at Fullerton College, usually takes part in bringing the therapy animals on campus but announced that this year Fullerton College will not be having therapy animals around finals week.