Therapy Dogs Help Elderly Patients Lower Blood Pressure

Pet therapy is gaining in popularity and there are many dogs like Boston who  spend countless  hours cheering  elderly patients.  Boston is a retired guide dog who entered pet therapy as his second career.

A King Charles Spaniel
A King Charles Spaniel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But pet therapy is not just for  cheering.  Pets have been proven to help lower blood pressure, as my own doctor’s dog, Elton has helped me.  With Elton in the room, my pressure is lower.  (I didn’t used to believe all of this either, but that was before I had experienced it myself.)  Elton, a King Charles Spaniel, has been through special pet therapy training as has Boston.

In the video we can see Boston doesn’t bark loudly, and barks  only in “whispers”.  I have never heard Elton bark either, so one of the traits of a  therapy dog  is a quiet nature.  They are not bouncy excitable animals.

Pet therapy isn’t only about dogs.  I was visiting a nursing home a few years ago when someone brought in miniature horses.  This is a tremendous work performed by many dedicated people such as Bob Armstrong, who is Boston’s person.  Boston is registered with the Kaiser Santa Clara Pet Therapy Program.


We think therapy animals have a bright future with our seniors as well as younger patients.  Perhaps you know a special dog who would be interested in a career as a therapy dog.  Here’s more information.


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