• Julia Hilts

All About Animal Therapy

What do cats, dogs, and horses have in common? They, along with many other kinds of animals, are being used more and more frequently for pet therapy. This interaction between humans and animals is increasingly employed in a variety of sectors to help people in countless ways. Therapy animals and their owners go to many settings such as schools, libraries, hospitals, and nursing homes to provide their services. The animals offer affection and comfort to help others cope and heal.

In educational institutions, therapy animals are often brought in during exam periods to help students deal with stress. The animals provide a calming influence, which helps to reduce anxiety.

However, it is the use of animal therapy in the health industry that shows amazing benefits. Therapy animals are often used in many settings around the health field to help patients recover from their procedures or cope with illness. Therapy animals can even play a part in a patient’s physical therapy by helping them reach their goals in their treatment, especially helping patients regain their motor skills. The use of animals for therapeutic reasons transcends into helping those with mental illnesses as well. By reducing depression, fatigue, anxiety, and pain, animal therapy can increase social skills, communication, and motivate patients to get active or get involved. These are just a few examples of all that pet therapy can offer. Even the families of those receiving therapy are helped by the animals because their own moods are uplifted.

Children also feel the benefits of animal therapy. Pets brought into dental or medical procedures can offer a calming influence. In therapy, animals are used to help children heal from traumatic experiences. They can also help improve literacy in children through reading programs.

Animal therapy offers amazing benefits to all it touches. From the health sector to schools, animals provide a calming, healing influence that benefits those it effects in countless ways.