Florence Nightingale advocated for the use of pets in improving the health of the sick. Studies have shown pets have a positive effect in lowering blood pressure, improving mood and calming heart rate. Pets can stimulate conversation, improve socialization and decrease disruptive behaviors. What do many of us do after a stressful day? Many of us find solace in petting our cat, talking to our dog or caring for other kinds of pets. The staff of Pine Valley have been using pet therapy for some time to improve the lives of residents. A wonderful family member brings her dogs to visit residents regularly. Surrogate life-like pets are used when a resident would not be able to hold a real animal with many of the same benefits. Residents can watch live birds in the aviary and assisted living residents are able to keep a small pet in their room. Past blogs have described use of non-pharmacological approaches such as: music, brain games and now pet therapy to increase health benefits and to treat the whole individual. If you are interested in playing a part in your own wellness, then consider some of these easy and fairly inexpensive ways to boost your health!