The social isolation that has been caused by the ongoing pandemic had been hard on everyone. Paws & Think — an Indianapolis-based nonprofit helping to improve lives through the power of the human-dog connection — is trying to help with this problem in the best (and furriest) way possible: with virtual dog visits.
The Paws to Connect program allows people to interact virtually with registered Paws & Think therapy teams, with the goal of providing a fun break while helping to alleviate stress, loneliness and feelings of isolation. These fun and friendly visits provide emotional connection and comfort via the power of the human-dog connection.
Pet owners know the happy feelings they get from interacting with their pets. But the same mood-boosting benefits can also be found when you watch someone interact with a pet. Research has shown that watching someone connect with their dog by petting them helps alleviate stress, and helps to lower heart rate while raising dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is the chemical in the brain that influences mood.
Paws to Connect virtual visits happen every Saturday from 1-2 p.m. All ages are welcome to attend. Sign up for a 15-minute visit with a Paws to Connect therapy team by visiting pawsandthink.org/programs/paws-to-connect.