Did you know that just patting or stroking an animal can help to reduce stress and increase “feel good” hormones? According to Mental Health professional, Dr. Happy, "There are some “common” or “generic” factors that have been found to be associated with improvements in mental health and wellbeing; these are, enhancing the relationships and/or sense of connectedness in someone’s life, providing the individual with something to care for, and guiding the person to develop a sense of purpose in their life; or quite simply, helping them find a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Notably, each of these life-enhancing factors can be found in or attributed to “therapy dogs”. In his latest article for HIF, Dr. happy discusses how therapy dogs can provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with a range of health and mental-health diagnoses."