Pooches help humans fight the blues with cuddles
Pooches help humans fight the blues with cuddles during pandemic. At first glance, Snuffy might seem like the average pet dog – adorable, friendly and enthusiastic to boot. However, the three-year-old labrador is unlike most others. ,That’s because Snuffy possesses an important job, and designation – that of a ‘professional cuddler’, who helps humans struggling with mental health, through cuddles and playdates.
THE RISE OF FURRY CUDDLERS
During the pandemic, dogs and cats have become caregivers – especially for people with disability and mental health issues. Pet trainer Dr Tanuj Saxena says, “The world has never needed its puppies and kittens as much as it does now. The cuddles are changing everything. They bring happiness, fill the void of loneliness and provide a buffer against stress.”
The increasing demands for therapy dogs in the last year is prompting pet parents to train their pets as cuddlers.
Govind and Alisha Verma from Mumbai – bankers by profession – are parents to professional cuddlers, indie dogs Mowgli and Rani. “I called a pet trainer to train my dogs to help people in need. The trainer comes once a week and we send Rani and Mowgli to many of our neighbours for cuddles. They are happy to receive all the love too.”
Psychologist and therapist Dr Deblina Gangully explain that cuddling pets are different from therapy pets, who are trained and certified to provide care, affection and assistance to people with physical disabilities or mental issues. Cuddling pets, on the other hand, need only basic training.
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