Pet Therapy

We define pet therapy as:


‘A partnership between a consenting therapy dog and its compassionate owner to improve the wellness of themselves and others through human-animal engagements.’


Pet therapy can improve wellness in humans. It can also improve wellness in therapy dogs.

Wellness is the act of practicing healthy habits to attain better physical and mental health outcomes, and from our own evidence, we know that pet therapy engagements provide improved wellness.

We have seen wellness being attained in school children, employees, hospital patients, care home residents, dementia patients, students, people with mental ill-health, people on the autistic spectrum, and people socially isolated, to name a few.

We also see wellness attained in therapy dogs where they have enjoyed the visits, having demonstrated consent signals to engage. Studies have shown that dogs, as well as humans have a release of the feel good hormone oxytocin during human-animal engagements.

We believe pet therapy is acting as a gateway to improve social connectivity, providing relief, reducing loneliness, and provides much needed comfort, companionship and joy.

As well as the emotional health benefits, pet therapy has social, physical and physiological benefits.

In the presence of a therapy dog, people relax, become calm, and their heart rate and blood pressure decrease. Stroking a therapy dog can greatly reduce your stress levels.

Studies show that if you spend around 15 minutes petting a therapy dog, your body will release the following natural feel-good hormones: oxytocin, prolactin, and serotonin. It also lowers your cortisol, which is the body’s natural stress hormone.


Some other examples of the benefits included, but not limited to, are:

  • It causes many to feel calm and brightens their emotional outlook.

  • It can help to bridge communication gaps.

  • Therapy dog companionship can reduce loneliness, stress, and promote feelings of relaxation.

  • Therapy dogs can decrease anxiety and provide a pleasant external focus for attention. 

  • Therapy dogs make former dog-owners who live in care homes feel less lonely.

  • A visit from a therapy dog can assist in the recall of memories, and help sequence temporal events in patients with head injuries, or diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s.

  • Therapy dogs can act as catalysts in the therapy process, and may help to break the ice.

  • Reading to a therapy dog, helps children to reduce self-consciousness, and increases self-confidence, in their oracy and literacy.

  • Many children with autism, feel a deep bond with animals, and feel that they can relate better to them.  Pet therapy may increase language use, and social interaction in children with autism.

  • Therapy dogs are identified by cancer patients as having intuitive feelings, regarding their sadness and grief.


The Therapy dog by Cariad Pet Therapy

I can help to provide healing for any and every part of you that may be hurting. I will not discriminate or judge, I just need you for who you are.

I will become your reason to smile, and give you hope, that things will improve, and get better.


You will be calmer than you were a few minutes before I arrived. I will act as a distraction, as my antics, warmth, sense of fun, many textures, and playfulness, will encourage you to reach out to cuddle, touch, and brush me.

You can talk about whatever you want, and I will listen.

Being with me will give you a reason to talk to someone, and feel less alone.

You will feel happier and less stressed. I will help you to relax, and feel safe. I will make you feel better.

When you are scared, and feel helpless, I will lie beside you and I will give you comfort.

I can assist you in remembering, helping to put things in order, and help you feel less down.

The time spent with me will motivate, I will encourage you to walk further, try harder and become happier.

I will become your companion, your friend, and a reason to take on the day.