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Live More at Cedar Community | Pet therapy proven to provide health benefits | By Carrie Sturn

Washington Co, WI – Pet owners are the first to testify about how much their furry friends mean to them. But did you know that research also shows that pets can make you healthier in mind, body, and spirit? Cedar Community has actively participated in pet therapy as a part of our life enrichment and well-being therapies for many years.

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Many breeds of therapy and support dogs have called Cedar Community home over the years—most recently a Shih Tzu named Charlie visits with residents in skilled nursing, assisted living, and memory care. Cedar Community is also fortunate to have volunteers who often visit with residents—bringing along their furry friends.

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Studies show that just 15 minutes spent bonding with an animal promotes hormonal changes within the brain.

Stress levels drop as the brain produces serotonin—the feel-good hormone. This is one of the many reasons why therapy animals are good companions for seniors—they offer so many amazing health benefits.

Many seniors already engage in pet therapy daily, because they have a pet at home. Around 65 percent of households in the U.S. have at least one furry friend. Many independent living residents at Cedar Community enjoy the companionship of a furry friend. Researchers have found a link between pets and better cardiovascular health.

Pet ownership is believed to contribute to a lower heart rate, reduced blood pressure, and a faster recovery during mental stress. These outcomes are a result of both the reduced stress that comes with having a comforting pet, as well as the physical exercise involved in walking a dog.

CLICK HERE to read more about pets and their benefits to seniors in Cedar Community’s Autumn edition of Live More magazine.

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