We Passed… Then failed as a Pet Therapy team

Oliver and Jodie _Paws volunteers_2024

Oliver and I have been training for the last 8 months to become a volunteer team with PAWS Pet Therapy. Recently… we made the cut and passed our assessment.

But then… after a visit with a busy little toddler, it became clear that Oliver didn’t quite have the patience or tolerance for the work. 

While we’re sad we can’t continue the work, it was a fantastic experience that I’d highly recommend.

So what is a PAWS Pet Therapy Dog?

PAWS is a not for profit organisation that trains up teams, like Oliver and I, to volunteer with people in need.

Pet therapy, offers numerous benefits across various settings:

1. Emotional Support: Interacting with animals can provide emotional comfort and companionship, offering solace to patients in hospitals, aged care facilities, domestic violence situations, and children with anxiety. The presence of a furry friendPaws Pet therapy 2_2024 can alleviate feelings of loneliness and provide unconditional love. Remember cuddling a dog when you felt all alone. Yes, instantly everything was a little better.

2. Stress Reduction: Petting, cuddling, or simply being around animals has been shown to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. This is particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing high levels of stress due to medical procedures, trauma, or anxiety.

3. Physical Well-being: Engaging with animals can encourage physical activity, such as walking a dog or playing with a cat, which promotes mobility and overall well-being. Additionally, interacting with pets has been linked to lower blood pressure and improved cardiovascular health.

4. Social Interaction: Pet therapy can facilitate socialisation among patients, residents, or children, fostering connections and reducing feelings of isolation. Animals can serve as a conversation starter and help individuals build rapport with others.

5. Mental Stimulation: Interacting with animals stimulates mental faculties, promoting cognitive function and providing a positive distraction from pain, worries, or negative thoughts. This can be especially beneficial for individuals facing challenges such as dementia or depression.

So, we’re super sad we won’t be continuing our work with PAWS, but if you are interested in volunteering… or would like to organise a visit from a trained pet therapy team? Get in touch with PAWS.