Animal Therapy Booms
As more and more animals are treated as pets nowadays, their role in therapy has also become fast rising. Adults and children have been benefiting from animal therapy for years now, and the types of animals being utilized have not only been limited to dogs, but also to other pets as well.
Some of the goals of animal therapy are:
- Aids individuals in joint movement
- Improves self-confidence
- Helps alleviate depression, anxiety, and grief
- Encourages individuals to participate in their therapy
- Increases focus and concentration
- Improves mood and behavior
- Develops balance and problem solving skills
Animals have been a joy to people – even those who are not suffering from illnesses. But for those who are depressed, anxious, or afflicted with debilitating conditions, animal therapy has been proven to alleviate their emotional and physical pains.
According to a stranger chat service from BetterHelp (a provider of online therapy) over dogs are popular pets that greatly help adults and kids reduce their stress and anxiety levels simply by cuddling and playing with them. That is why organizations and members of animal therapy programs have included more animals to help people heal and recover.
Animals Used for Therapy
- According to several studies, having horses for pets have effectively reduced blood pressure, stress and tension levels in adults and the elderly. Supporters of equine-assisted programs tremendously benefit PTSD and mentally challenged individuals through the principle of therapeutic riding. Aside from its physical benefits, equine therapy has also shown to increase emotional stability and improve psycho-social skills.
- Individuals who are afraid of dogs mostly prefer cats to help them with their therapy. Cats are sensitive and clever animals that can also be trained as therapy animals, although they are not often easily transported like dogs. They are sometimes seen in nursing and hospice care homes, walking along patients’ rooms as if checking to see how they are, and they do stop for a snuggle once in while.
Cats have become more popular when stories like Grace Hamshaw’s spread throughout the world. Iris Grace is an autistic 6-year-old who, according to her parents, was able to learn how to speak through the help of her feline best friend, Thula.
- Cases of individuals who have dementia and post-traumatic stress disorder have been reported to benefit from caring for birds, particularly parrots. People of all ages can enjoy the company of these talking birds. They are able to interact with depressed and anxious individuals who would rather stay at home and isolate themselves from the world. Parrots are known to be emphatic creatures.
- Kids particularly love small pets like rabbits because they do not intimidate them and they can easily carry them. Therapy rabbits and other smaller animals such as guinea pigs help improve children with fine motor abnormalities. Rabbits are also known to be very hygienic and can make suitable pets for younger children and cancer patients.
- Alpaca therapy has caused a lot of buzz in South America lately. These funny-looking hairy animals look similar to the llamas. Napoleon, the alpaca, is a therapy animal helping patients in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities all over Oregon. Alpacas are lovable, cuddly, and very sociable beings.
Animals Truly Heal
Certified therapy animals or not, our pets are undeniably a cure for our heartaches and pains. Though they are not able to talk, they communicate through the eyes and their cuddles. Their capacity to heal is truly undeniable. They are able to provide us with a different kind of care and affection that have the power to help us get through life and its downsides.