Dog Therapy: The Dogs Improving Quality Of Life For Children With Cerebral Palsy

By Tom •  Updated: 03/08/21 •  3 min read
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Therapy plays an important role in managing cerebral palsy (CP), and depending on the severity of the condition, they can enhance normal life expectancy between 40% and 99%. From physical therapy to speech and language therapy, there are several ways to improve life quality with CP. One type of therapy is dog therapy. Dogs help to enhance mobility, improve posture, and develop strength. In addition, pet therapy assists in providing companionship and friendship among young owners.

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Trained Dogs Boost Physical Condition

Cerebral palsy is a very common motor disability amongst children. Fortunately, advances in medicine and technology offer them much-needed support. One of the treatments that can assist individuals with the condition is pet therapy. This is often seen in hippotherapy, in which a child works with a trained horse, who provides motor and sensory input. It is a great way of getting children involved in their treatment, enabling them to benefit from the physical activities and other types of therapy they may be using. Dogs, however, are also used to work with children Working and interacting with dogs offers several gains, including a reduction in pain, anxiety, stress, depression and fatigue.

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Dog therapy is used to supplement traditional therapies, and this type of treatment involves interactions with a well-trained animal. A child can feed, pet and talk to the animal, forming a strong bond. The fundamental principle in this type of therapy is that the child spends time with the dog in both a formal and an informal setting. Therapy dogs can visit hospitals and clinics to cheer up young patients while they’re in an informal setting, and children bond with the dogs by petting and talking to them. When done properly, time spent with pets can enhance cognitive ability, build-up body strength, and improve endurance. In addition, it promotes confidence, social skills, and a sense of well-being.    

Communication And Mental Health

Children are likely to talk to dogs while stroking their fur or taking them for a walk. Dogs are suitable pets for children because of their innate love of human interactions. This makes having a pet a great opportunity to enhance and develop the speech skills of affected children. In addition, using dog therapy is a good way to improve their physical condition, gait, balance and coordination. Perhaps, the biggest benefit of interacting with dogs is that they offer companionship and friendship that children are very eager to have. In addition, kids develop empathy with these animals. Their social skills are also enhanced when working with animals or pets.

Dog therapy is a viable support treatment to enhance the quality of life of people with CP.  Interacting with creatures helps to improve motor skills, speech, strength and endurance. Animals also serve as companions and friends, promoting social skills and empathetic behavior.

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Tom

Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!
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