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  • Writer's pictureWe Change Lives

International Dog Day: How Animals Paw-sitively Enrich Lives 🐶

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

As International Dog Day approaches (29th August), let's shine a light on the incredible impact animals have on our well-being. From brightening our days to soothing our souls, the companionship of animals holds a special place in our hearts.

In this post, we'll explore how these furry friends bring joy to people of all ages and abilities, including those with learning disabilities and mental health challenges.

Just as a smile can light up a room, so too can the presence of a furry companion. At We Change Lives, we believe in the power of these connections – not just between humans and animals, but also among people themselves. Much like our interactions with animals, spending time with pets can have profound benefits for mental and emotional well-being.

1. Easing Emotions

Interacting with animals triggers the release of oxytocin and serotonin – chemicals that promote feelings of happiness and relaxation. For those navigating dementia, learning disabilities or mental health challenges, these interactions can offer moments of respite in a sometimes overwhelming world.

2. Igniting Memories

Similar to how a familiar scent can trigger nostalgia, animals can spark fond memories in people with cognitive differences and memory issues. The presence of a beloved pet can transport you back in time, evoking feelings of comfort and connection.

3. Facilitating Communication

Just as shared laughter can bridge gaps, animals can foster communication among individuals with disabilities and communication barriers. Expressing thoughts and feelings might be a struggle, but a wagging tail or a gentle purr can provide a comforting moment for connection and understanding.

4. Fostering Social Bonds

In the same way that shared experiences can forge friendships, interactions with animals can promote social interactions. Sharing stories about pets and their antics can spark conversations, laughter, and a sense of belonging.

5. Cultivating Purpose

Caring for an animal provides a sense of purpose - which is why in some of our services we allow residents to bring their furry friends along. The routine of feeding, grooming, and spending time with a pet can give responsibility and a sense of achievement, contributing positively to mental well-being.

This International Dog Day, let's celebrate the profound impact animals have on our lives. Just as We Change Lives values the connection between humans, we also understand the immeasurable value of animal interactions for elderly people and individuals with dementia, learning disabilities and mental health challenges.

Comment your favourite animal and why below! 👇

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