Pets and Pediatrics: How Dogs Could Be the Secret Weapon to Reducing Stress at the Dentist
Wednesday, September 7, 2016 1:50:14 PM America/Toronto
For as long as children have feared the dentist, the dentist has gone to great lengths not to be feared. Collectively, parents and practitioners have tried everything to make that routine trip as easy and as pain-free as possible. Some waiting rooms have every Lego piece under the sun in easy-to-topple buckets, while others have the latest animated movie playing on loop and stacks of colouring books with every colour crayon ever invented. But one Illinois practice has taken patient stress management in another direction. Jojo the golden retriever works as a therapy dog at the Pediatric Dentistry of Northbrook. She distracts and relaxes patients during their procedures by offering a paw and a cuddle, and will even snuggle on their lap during checkups. While most dogs tend to be excitable and playful, therapy dogs like Jojo have actually shown to reduce stress levels in humans.
The calm presence of a dog trained to give people comfort has long been employed during moments of great tragedy and loss. Often, dogs like Jojo are sent to comfort survivors of mass shootings and natural disasters, as well as retirement homes and hospitals. Just petting a dog is known to release oxytocin, which can mean all the difference to an 8-year-old patient getting her first filling. Except for the occasional goldfish, we’re not used to seeing animals in offices. We’ve come to expect the place of business to be a professional and sterile establishment. Walking into a dentist office and finding a friendly dog immediately puts people at ease and shakes up their belief that the dentist office is downright rotten! Have you ever considered employing a therapy dog at your practice?
Are you a fan of the idea but not a dog person? Consider other animals such as cats, guinea pigs, or birds. For all your dentistry needs, be sure to visit Dental Brands.
Dental Brands: 1-888-441-0443
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jojo-the-dog-soothes-kids-during-ruff-trips-to-dentist-is-cutest-staff-member_us_5703cd10e4b0daf53af0dcb3 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/12/121221-comfort-dogs-newtown-tragedy-animal-therapy/