Domesti-PUPS Therapy Dogs to Assist USA Swimmers
As USA Swimming athletes get ready for their races with the highest stakes on the line, local pet therapy group Domesti-PUPS (www.domesti-pups.org) will provide nearly 2,000 competitors with a relaxing environment to help them prepare for their events.
From June 26-July 3 in Omaha, NE swimmers will compete for a coveted position on the national swim team that will represent America in August in Rio de Janeiro. For eight days, swimmers will battle to be among the top two finishers in their race to qualify for the world’s largest sporting event. This is the only selection meet to determine the final team.
The pressure, disappointment, and judgment that professional athletes can face is often very trying, and pet therapy dogs can provide the athletes with some sort of release. Therapy dogs are commonly found visiting hospitals, classrooms, university campuses, courtrooms, and a number of other events and venues, where stress levels can be elevated.
Scientific studies show that canine interaction increases a human’s level of oxytocin, a hormone that reduces anxiety and blood pressure. Petting a dog helps people become less frightened, more secure and diverts their attention away from their own fears or anxieties.
There will be 30 Domesti-PUPS pet therapy teams from Lincoln, Omaha and St. Joseph, MO, available to the athletes throughout the competition.
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