A medical consultant and data analyst, Mary Pat Higley utilizes her 20 years of experience in the medical field to improve the performance of clients in the industry. Active in multiple philanthropic endeavors, Mary Pat Higley engages in therapy dog training and visits nursing homes with certified dogs for the purpose of providing dog therapy.
Therapy animals, such as dogs, can offer numerous advantages to people by enhancing their physical and mental health. Studies have shown the effect that these dogs have on humans, include the reduction of blood pressure, the release of endorphins, the improvement of socialization, and the enhancement of motor skills during physical therapy. Children also benefit from these relationships as reading to pets increases their focus and literacy.
Individuals can choose from several programs that will allow them to get their dogs certified as therapy animals. Despite numerous organizations across the country providing these programs, they usually possess many of the same features. Teachers provide fundamental dog training that teaches basic obedience methods and commands. More advanced training helps pets get comfortable with hospital equipment and around other people and pets. Finally, therapy dog training may include role-playing in hospitals for the dog and its owner, as well as coaching owners on proper handling of their pet in the hospital setting.