Pet therapy is when a person and a trained animal are helped to talk to each other. The animal’s handler is also involved. The goal of pet therapy is to help someone who is sick or has a mental disorder get better or deal with it.
Pets to the Rescue
Since we were little, when things got rough at home, we would cuddle up with our stuffed animals or pets. Who do we turn to most often when we need someone to make us feel better? Our pets! Our family pet was always there for us, whether it was a dog, a cat, a lizard, or even a horse.
Consider becoming a pet sitter or an animal-assisted therapist if you like working with animals and helping people deal with their problems. Pet therapy is a broad term that includes activities like therapy with animals and others.
Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a growing field that uses dogs, cats, birds, fish, guinea pigs, and horses to help people with health problems like heart disease, cancer, and mental health disorders get better or deal with them better.
When It First Started
In the 1930s, when he started using Jofi, his favorite dog, in his psychotherapy sessions, Dr. Sigmund Freud became a supporter of AAT. Joe could tell when someone was upset by staying close to them.
In the 1960s, a well-known child psychotherapist named Dr. Boris Levinson found out that a nine-year-old boy who didn’t talk could talk to his dog Jingles, who sat with them during therapy. He also saw the same things happen to other children.
Later, he gave permission for Pet-Oriented Child Psychotherapy to be used, and people started calling him the “father of AAT.” In 1989, the Delta Society, which is now called Pet Partners and is a well-known animal education group, made a certification program to make sure that animals are good at AAT.
Since the early 1990s, pet therapy has been around. With a very positive outlook, it is now becoming more and more popular. Therapist and therapy assistant jobs are expected to grow by more than 27% over the next ten years, which is much faster than the average rate of growth.
In 2011, the CDC did a study that showed that more hospitals and clinics now offer alternative therapies to their patients. These activities with animals help improve a client’s quality of life by giving them comfort, motivation, education, pleasure, or recreation.
In May, there was a shooting at a school in Uvalde, and a dozen therapy dogs were brought in to help the scared kids who were there.
How It Works
These extra-therapy animals warn people about danger and, if needed, take direct action to help their conditions. The goal is to help these people deal with their symptoms or get rid of them as much as possible.
In animal therapy, people and animals form a bond that makes them feel calm. This relationship helps people feel less bored, get more exercise and activity through walks and playing, make friends and feel less lonely, have better social interactions, and feel better in general.
Overall, people who use pet therapy feel less stressed and have a more balanced state of mind and emotions.
Healing Hands and Calm Paws
After a session of pet therapy, a patient would have a smile on their face, feel less tired, and have a positive attitude. Studies have shown that it helps people with a wide range of health problems feel less pain, anxiety, depression, and tiredness.