Pets can provide comfort in stressful situations

We all love our pets and we know they offer us comfort on a daily basis, but do animals help relieve stress in tragic situtions? The answer is a resounding yes!!!  Therapy dogs have been used recently following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and are currently helping the people of Boston recover from the Boston Marathon bombings.

Admit it…you talk to your pets all the time! People who have suffered tragedy often find it easier to open up and express their feelings to a pet as well. It doesn’t matter that there may be other people in the room. The pet, in this case dogs, is there to love on and offer unconditional love in return. Victims can touch the pets and express their grief openly to animals because the pets don’t judge. They don’t do anything but listen! Too often, people may think they know how to help, but I personally believe it’s much harder for us humans to truly listen. We want to offer sympathy, interpret feelings or unintentionally force our way into a delicate situation. This can sometimes make victims close us out and bottle up potentially damaging emotions. Post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, is a real concern for victims or people who have been directly affected by these types of tragedies. Expressing and dealing with these emotions is a huge step in the recovery process. Who better to help than our furry friends!

Pets offer all of us unconditional love and a wonderful furry shoulder to cry on when we need it. Somehow, it’s fitting that out of tragedy, we as Americans, become closer and more united. Why shouldn’t animals play their own important role in this show of support!

For more information on therapy dogs who’ve helped the people of Boston, please click on the following link: