The Benefits of Having Dogs in Medical Settings
You may have noticed that there’s a new face in our office. She’s calm, friendly, soft as can be, and she’s our secret weapon to helping our patients feel at ease. She’s Josie! And she’s a dog.
People have been using dogs in medical settings for more than 150 years. So when we recently decided to bring Dr. Molly’s dog Josie into the office we thought, why didn’t we do this sooner? The feedback from our patients who have interacted with Josie has been tremendous, so we wanted to share with you all of the benefits of having a dog in a medical setting.
Reduced Blood Pressure
Known as the “pet effect,” studies have linked petting a dog to lower blood pressure. In fact, researchers have found that petting a dog creates a parallel relaxation effect as quiet reading. As you may very well know, when we feel stressed or anxious our blood pressure rises. So, if someone is feeling stressed or anxious in a medical office, which is extremely likely, it helps to have something that will lower his or her blood pressure. Not to mention a nice distraction!
Increased levels of Oxytocin
Oxytocin is that “feel good” hormone that is released when we do things like hug and socially bond. It contributes to relaxation and psychological stability and helps us feel happy and trusting. Recent studies have been focusing on how interacting with animals increases people’s levels of oxytocin. This is especially useful in medial settings because when patients are feeling relaxed and trusting, they are far less likely to be anxious or nervous about going into a dental exam or routine check up.
Creates a Friendly Environment
Now that we’ve discussed the psychological benefits of having a dog in a dentist office, how about the environment it creates? In our minds, no one should ever hate going to the dentist! A trip to your family dentist should be an enjoyable time, not something you dread. By having a calm and friendly dog around, we feel it makes our patients happier and have more fun. Our staff is comprised of friendly individuals, so we think Josie is a great fit!
With all of the studies out there, it’s impossible not to see how we can benefit from interacting with dogs in medical settings. At Dr. Molly and Dr. Carly DMD we want our patients to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible when going to the dentist, and we think Josie helps contribute to that. If you’re looking for a general or cosmetic dentist in Eugene, OR that will have a friendly four-legged face to help you feel at ease, you’ve found the right place! Now, how many Eugene dentists can say that?