Superman dog with a cape.

Incredibles: Parkinson's Comfort Pets Are Super Heroes Too

What is it about a furry friend that seems to melt one's troubles away? To me, it's "incredible" to watch; especially when one's troubles include all the symptoms that come along with a chronic illness like Parkinson's disease. Whether your illness presents physical issues with rigidity, tremor, bradykinesia, or if you suffer from cognitive symptoms of dementia, confusion, or anxiety and depression, a furry friend can quickly become quite the "Super Hero Pet!" Comfort pets have been known to help with victims of natural disasters, terrible tragedies like school shootings, nursing home patients, terminal illnesses, abused children, and emotional therapeutic needs. Quickly, a sensitive dog can become another caregiver in the home to help with mood, coping, wellness, physical exercise, and companionship.

"They're kind of like counselors with fur. They have excellent listening skills, and they demonstrate unconditional love. They don't judge you or talk back," says Tim Hentzer of Lutheran Church Charities K9 Comfort Dogs in a National Geographic News post called The Healing Power of Dogs." "When humans show us affection, it's quite a complicated thing that involves expectations and judgments. But with a dog, it's a very uncomplicated, non-challenging interaction with no consequences. And if you've been through a hard time (or, have Parkinson's disease), it's lovely to have that." Yes, it's even "incredible." Meet our Hershey. He is our Parkinson's Super Hero!

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

Have you or a loved one ever tried speech therapy?