Dogs can help People with Parkinson’s. Here’s How

Dogs can help People with Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s, being a chronic illness, calls for extensive care. The ongoing studies have detailed out many modern techniques to combat the disease including pet therapy which could place things right in order for PD fighters. For people with Parkinson’s, pets could be a practical help. Service dogs or Mobility Assistance Dogs can help their owner maintain walking, or alert a family member in case of a fall. And, research supports that.

Various studies have discovered that PD fighters struggle at finishing the daily tasks and require help at some point. What’s important to know is how dogs can be of a great help here. Running around with a dog qualifies as an exercise that helps reduce depression and stress.

When Larry Schneider Jr., a musician in Gibbsboro, New Jersey, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it was Calamity Jane, a trained Great Dane, who helped him overcome the challenges of daily living. She walks on his left side when he uses scooter or walker for moving. In case he freezes, she gives him a nudge. Larry found the help useful and credited the dog for reducing his stress and anxiety levels, giving credibility to dogs in helping PD fighters.

Here’s how dogs are helping their owners gain back their confidence, even with PD. A dog helps in:

  • Overcoming the freezing of gait by leading the owner away from a stressful or crowded area.
  • Assisting the owner in maintaining balance while walking and act as a support.
  • Reducing stress and anxiety levels in the patient by exerting calmness.
  • Completing physical tasks such as opening and closing doors, picking up objects, etc.
  • Supporting the owner in case of dizziness.

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Looking at the probability that cats and dogs can help doctors in predicting Dementia in PD fighters can be a great discovery. This could be interesting as it would contribute to the field of neurology and with such promising research; pet therapy can emerge as a compensatory treatment approach for Parkinson’s.


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