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End of Quarter at Stroud Resourcing– Animals and Health Workshop

It’s no secret that animals can contribute to our happiness, just ask anyone with a four-legged friend and they’ll tell you the comfort of curling up with their pets after a long day of work. The science is pretty clear on the issue too: many studies have shown that dogs reduce stress, anxiety and depression; ease loneliness; encourage exercise and improve the overall health of their owners. Dog owners even tend to have lower blood pressure and are less likely to develop heart disease than those without pets!

Caring for a pet can help our mental health in many ways. The companionship of a pet can help to ease your anxiety boosting self-confidence. Pets can be great listeners, offer unconditional love and won’t criticise you.

Pets can also be a great boon to our physical health. Dog owners, for example, are likely to take their pets out every day for a walk or run. This can be a fun way to fit exercise into your routine providing companionship. They can also give you a sense of security and someone to share the day with. Caring for them can help you feel wanted and needed. This can be especially valuable for older people or those who live alone.A bulldog and Daschund in an office, looking toward the camera

This can help your self-confidence, especially if you feel isolated or misunderstood, by helping you meet new people. Dog owners often stop and chat with each other on walks. But other pets can be a way to meet people too: in pet shops, training classes or online groups, adding structure to your day. Having to feed, exercise and care for a pet can help you keep to a daily routine, which can help you feel more grounded and focused. It can give your day purpose and a sense of achievement.

Lion Learners

Even a small amount of time spent with animals can boost dopamine levels and reduce feelings of stress, so for our end-of-quarter celebration at Stroud, we introduced our team to some of the wonderful creatures at Lion Learners – a UK-wide company that provides fun and educational animal experiences.

They brought us along with a whole zoo of furry and not-so-furry critters for us to relax with. Of the fluffier members of the group, we had two guinea pigs, Caramel and Penny, rabbits Jemima and Jeremy, and Dave the fat-tailed gerbil.Four people holding rabbits











At the scalier end of the … .er … scale, we were introduced to Francis, a corn snake, Muriel, a bearded dragon, Gavin the tortoise and James, a Leopard Gecko. Some of our team weren’t too sure about the reptiles to begin with, but they soon made friends. James was a particular team favourite for his long tail and sticky feet, and John took a shine to Francis right away.a small snake wraps around a man's arm, holding his jacket in its tailA man holds a small Gecko on the back of his hand











Last up were the creepy crawlies: a vinegarroon (sometimes called ‘whip scorpions’ because of their whip-like tails), leaf insects and two giant millipedes called Alice and Alice. Halfway between a spider and a scorpion, the acid-shooting vinegarroon was definitely one of the stranger creatures we’ve seen, and the giant millipedes are oddly stimulating with their quickly rippling feet. A woman holds a millipede in her hand











We’ve always been an animal-loving team, but this was definitely one of our favourite  End of Quarter activities! More photos below