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The New Face of Pet Therapy
Date:12/27/2011

said.

Part of this has to do with the adaptability and portability of dogs, Rideout said. Dogs have become so domesticated that they are easier to introduce into a wide variety of settings.

But that domestication also has forged a deep bond with humans that makes dogs particularly helpful in therapy. Interaction with dogs, Kueser said, has been found to lower blood pressure, steady rapid breathing, reduce levels of stress hormones and increase levels of calming hormones.

"There's something very primal about the companionship of a dog," Ruchman said.

More information

The Delta Society offers a list of books, articles and research on animal-assisted therapy.

SOURCES: Bill Kueser, vice president, marketing, Delta Society; Richard Ruchman, M.D., chairman, department of radiology, Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, N.J.; Amy Rideout, director and president, HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response


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