The Many Benefits Of Animal Assisted Therapy

Various studies show that animals are very useful in treating some patients.  The therapeutic effect of using these animals for treating some patients have been positive.  The use of animals for therapy has been responsible for improvements in a patient’s emotional, psychological and physical health.

Hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living homes, adult homes, prisons and many other facilities use animal assisted therapy or pet assisted therapy with much success.

When an animal is used for patient therapy the program is managed by a health care professional trained in the use of animals to help with patient therapy.  This is a process where the animal is incorporated as a part of the overall therapy for the patient.

There are many physical benefits derived from the animal assisted therapy.  Whether the therapeutic help is from a therapy animal or from a pet much improvement has been noticed in the patient.

The animal will need exercise.  If it is a pet and the owner is able, both the animal and pet will benefit from taking walks.  Research and studies have indicated that both the animal assisted therapy and the pet assisted therapy help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Lower levels of cholesterol and lower blood pressure can mean a healthier heart.  Having a pet or simply being in contact with a therapy animal can help reduce stress and anxiety in a person.  This, in turn, helps to improve the heart rate and lower cholesterol levels.

Some doctors have a friendly dog in their office to help reduce the anxiety and alleviate some stress for the patient.  Just spending a small amount of time with the animal can make the patient feel more relaxed.  The stress hormones such as cortisol do not kick in and this can help to improve the patient’s health.

If a patient is withdrawn and/or uncooperative animal assisted therapy may be helpful in creating a feeling of trust and confidence in the patient.  It may be enough to make the patient feel more like cooperating with their needed treatments.

Studies have shown that owning a pet makes us feel good.  A pet gives his owner unconditional love and this can make the owner feel even better.  Interaction with a pet has a definite positive impact on the emotional state of mind of an individual.

According to the results of numerous studies people who own pets have better moods, and a more positive outlook on life than those who do not own pets.  When you own a pet your stress, anxiety, panic, fear and loneliness are either lessened or even alleviated.  Another benefit for those who own a pet is the increase in their self-esteem.

Interaction with an animal has been shown to improve social skills and cognitive development.   Owning a pet can reduce the aggressive behavior in some individuals.  Individuals who own pets tend to become more outgoing and this can be a great help to those who suffer from being shy.

Animal assisted therapy and pet assisted therapy can be a benefit for those who need help with emotional, physical and social challenges.