You've heard of therapy puppies, right? For certain types of anxiety, dogs can be used as a way to calm someone's mind. Whether it's through constant companionship or just petting a dog every once in a while, these therapy dogs and puppies can help humans on a daily basis.
But did you know they have the same effect on other animals? Cheetahs at the San Diego Zoo were given tiny puppy friends as a way to naturally help them relax!
The zoo says "dogs are naturally comfortable with people, even those they don’t know. Cheetahs are quite a bit more cautious and wary of new situations; having a dog buddy to show them that everything is okay — and even fun — helps the cat feel comfortable and relaxed."
Continue reading to find out which breed is the most common for cheetahs to bond with, and just to see some more cute pictures!
"The dog’s body language communicates that there’s nothing to fear, which relaxes and calms the cheetah’s flight tendencies. We introduce a puppy buddy when the cheetah is still a cub and naturally playful. By spending time together, they get to know each other and become buddies."
The most common breed for dog companions are golden labs or retrievers, thanks to their naturally sunny and peppy personalities!
Apparently, there are many zoos who follow this practice, not just at San Diego! Look at this cute duo from Columbus!
You can watch a video on the cheetah/dog friendships here!