I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed there’s nothing I enjoy more than spending time with animals. It’s long been documented that time with animals can have a therapeutic effect on people. Florence Nightingale, opens a new window discovered that patients living in a psychiatric institution had lower anxiety when they were able to spend time with small animals. Sigmund Freud, opens a new window used his dog to calm his patients, putting them at ease so they were more likely to feel comfortable talking to him. Nowadays, it’s common for dogs to be trained as therapy dogs to provide comfort and support to people in stressful settings like hospitals, nursing homes, disaster areas, opens a new window, and libraries.
You might not think of the library as a stressful setting, but for children learning to read it can be a nerve-wracking place. Luckily, studies, opens a new window show that children can benefit from reading to therapy dogs. They can focus on the animals instead of being self-conscious, which helps their reading performance. The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA, opens a new window and San Mateo County Libraries have partnered for years to offer the popular Paws for Tales, opens a new window reading program and bring the benefits of therapy dogs to young readers.
Now we’ve taken this popular program online. If you have a young reader at home, then you can sign up for our next program on Wednesday, September 30th from 4-5 PM. Reading sessions are 10 minutes long. Registration is required. Remember to make sure you have something fun at home to read to your therapy dog friend!
If you need some reading suggestions, then try one of these dog themed eBooks.
What's your favorite animal to spend time with? Let us know in the comments!