Updated: Feb 28, 2019
Deep Pressure Therapy (abbreviated to DPT) is a tactile form of stimulation that is used to reduce anxiety and stress within people with special educational needs and mental health conditions via the use of weighted articles or animals that ‘squeeze’ the person.
While DPT is mainly used for the people above, in this list I want to highlight a number of reasons why Deep Pressure Therapy is useful for ALL dogs and owners, no matter what.
1. ‘Cuddling’ on Cue
Let’s start with the most basic first: no matter how you want to view it, DPT is basically cuddling on cue. The dog, when asked, lays across the legs or body of the handler and applies pressure to their body. This also allows the handler the opportunity to hug their dog.
This is not only an extremely cute skill to teach, but is also exceedingly practical. Who doesn’t want to automatically have their dog cuddle them? Who doesn’t enjoy that feeling and sensation of your furry friend snuggled into your lap, and the feeling of their fur in your fingers? It’s a sure fire way of free hugs!
2. Dogs Love It
There are some dogs who just don’t like being touched, so I hesitate to make such a sweeping generalisation. However, once again at the crux of it, using the positive reinforcement methods that are used to train this behaviour, the dog is rewarded over and over again for not only being close to you, but by you touching him/her. There is so special skill, and not a lot of specific thought (at least within the basic stages) of this exercise, so in the dog’s head they are overjoyed that they keep being paid to spend time with you on the sofa! It’s their idea of heaven!
3. Husbandry Training
While unorthodox method of doing so, DPT does allow for number of veterinary behaviours to be applied in a safe and secure manner. While the dog is laying across your lap, you have the opportunity to apply eye drops, apply ear drops and, potentially apply injections.
It certainly isn’t the most common use of the task, but if it works, it works!
No matter whether you’ve got a mental health condition or not, the benefits of DPT can be applicable to all. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a stressful day at work, your exams are getting you down, or you’re just feeling a little blue, the results are still the same! Deep Pressure Therapy works to counteract the anxiety and stress in your body and taps into the same systems that control heart rate and regulated breathing so that you can be relaxed and calm.
So there you have it! Four ways in which Deep Pressure Therapy can be beneficial for everyone!