Pet Therapy: How Children's Inn at NIH is Using Animals And Humans to Heal Each Other

Those of us who own pets know they make us happy. But a growing body of scientific research is showing that our pets can also make us healthy, or healthier.

That helps explain the increasing use of animals — dogs and cats mostly, but also birds, fish, and even horses — in settings ranging from hospitals and nursing homes to schools, jails and mental institutions.

Take Viola, or Vi for short. The retired guide dog is the resident canine at America's Charities' member charity, Children's Inn, on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The Inn is where families stay when their children are undergoing experimental therapies at NIH.

Those of us who own pets know they make us happy. But a growing body of scientific research is showing that our pets can also make us healthy, or healthier.

That helps explain the increasing use of animals — dogs and cats mostly, but also birds, fish, and even horses — in settings ranging from hospitals and nursing homes to schools, jails and mental institutions.

Read the full article posted by NPR.