Cancer Education Center

Welcome to the Slaggie Family Cancer Education Center page. Our goal is to empower patients and their supporters to become active partners in their health care by providing relevant information, increasing knowledge and learning from one another’s experiences. Follow the Cancer Education Center page and stay up-to-date as we post accurate and timely cancer-related information on topics such as cancer prevention, risks, treatments, clinical trials, end-of-life care and survivorship. No matter where you are in your journey, we are here to help.

 

PUBLIC PAGE
Tue, May 29, 2018 2:35pm

Therapy Animals

By Megan Roessler M. Ed., @meganroessler

shutterstock_755357533If you have ever visited the Cancer Education Center on a Monday or Wednesday afternoon, perhaps you have meet Kelso or Hannah.  They are our furry friends who are also therapy dogs.  Their handlers volunteer their time and their dog for the benefit of patients at Mayo Clinic.

A therapy dog could also be called a comfort dog.  Spending some time petting or talking with a dog has health benefits.  Pets can help people recover or to better cope with health problems they may be experiencing.  Studies show that mood boosting hormones oxytocin and dopamine are released when petting an animal.  It also decreases the stress hormone cortisol.  Pets help to reduce our stress and anxiety.  Kelso and Hannah are a wonderful and positive distraction!

Oftentimes patients comment that they are missing their own pet who had to stay at home while they are visiting Mayo Clinic.  Spending a little time with our therapy dogs provides some joy and comfort to someone who is missing their own pet.  Pets are easy to communicate with, excellent listeners and promote socializing with other people.  Furry friends can also serve as a varied focal point, making it easier to converse with others without the pressure of direct eye contact. Kelso and Hannah don't know what good ice breakers they are nor how much joy they provide.

Do you have a pet that provides you comfort?

yes – but also, he makes my husband and me, both in our 80s, get out and get moving. Knowing the dog needs a daily walk, needs to be fed, etc. is so good for each of us – but he brings us great joy just petting or talking to him.

So true, Barb. You might be interested in joining this discussion with other Connect members sharing about

– What Pets Can Do: Health and Healing https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/what-pets-can-do-health-and-healing/

@barbarn

yes – but also, he makes my husband and me, both in our 80s, get out and get moving. Knowing the dog needs a daily walk, needs to be fed, etc. is so good for each of us – but he brings us great joy just petting or talking to him.

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It is true that pets are motivating! Meeting their needs also helps us meet our own needs – like movement. I walk my dog, but I am also getting walked too! I am glad you and your husband have a dog that brings you joy.
Megan

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