Dogs, cats and other pets are man’s best friends, it’s well known! They also bring comfort and well-being. Science is looking into these four-legged therapists.
Equine therapy, dolphin therapy, purring therapy… Researchers have long laid the foundations of pet therapy, this practice which shows how an animal can provide therapeutic assistance to children or adults suffering from mental disorders or physical disabilities. But without going as far as animal mediation – a term used to designate therapy assisted by an animal, in the presence of a therapist – pets are an obvious source of well-being.
“This is the case when you create a bond with them, temporary or permanent. Domestication has fostered this link. For example, the dog understands about 170 words – 250 for the most gifted – and this allows him to interact easily and respond to us. emphasizes Laurence Paoli, former collaborator of the National Museum of Natural History, author of When animals do us good (1).
Between man and animal, an intermediate space is created where both meet: something magical happens that produces well-being.
Laurence Paoli, former collaborator of the National Museum of Natural History
A study published in the journal Japanese Psychological Research in 2009 showed that when a dog and its master look at each other in…