What is Pet Therapy?

“Dogs have a way of finding people who need them, filling an emptiness we don't even know we have.” - Thorn Jones

What is Pet Therapy?

Pet therapy is a broad term that includes animal-assisted therapy (AAT) and other animal-assisted activities (AAA). AAT involves using animals to assist individuals with health or mobility issues by participating in their therapy sessions. AAA participation is meant to provide comfort and enjoyment for all age groups.

Who can benefit from Pet Therapy?

Pet therapy can help individuals by reducing anxiety, depression, pain, and many other health problems. Others who can benefit from pet therapy include:

  • People receiving cancer treatment
  • People in long-term care or senior care facilities
  • Seniors with dementia or brain injuries
  • Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Children with autism or down syndrome
  • Adults with learning disabilities
  • Victims of physical or mental abuse
  • And many others

Pet therapy helps the individuals the pet is visiting and the family members and staff at the facilities being visited. It can also be used in non-medical settings such as colleges, schools, and other community organizations to help those dealing with stress and anxiety. 

To learn the differences between pet therapy, service animals, and emotional support animals, click here. 

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