New University Study Says Dogs Reduce Need for Meds


As pet lovers, we know having an animal around makes life better, but now there’s even more data to prove our point. Researchers at Chicago’s Loyola University announced this week that adults who use pet therapy while recovering from total joint-replacement surgery require 50 percent less pain medication than those who do not.

“Evidence suggests that animal-assisted therapy can have a positive effect on a patient’s psychosocial, emotional and physical well-being,” said Julia Havey, R.N., of Loyola University Health System. “These data further support these benefits and build the case for expanding the use of pet therapy in recovery.”

Animal lover Havey and colleague Frances Vlasses began raising puppies through the Canine Companions for Independence program more than 10 years ago, and based their claim on their observations of the field. As trainers, they absorb the costs associated with having the dogs, and teach them social etiquette until they reach about 15 months of age. The pups are then returned to the CCI’s regional training center for several months, where they are conditioned to become assistance dogs. There, they learn to assist with physical tasks, eventually understanding around 40 commands that help adults and children with special needs.

Based on their findings, Havey and Vlasses hope that animal-assisted therapy will eventually become universal in the healthcare field.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Brenda Knight
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 18:50:09

    Fantastic site, I really like your writing style. Very distinctive and concise. On a lot of blogs people just drone on and on, but not you – very nice. Keep up the great work!


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