Most therapists use domestic animals, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and birds, as therapy pets. Individuals accept these animals well because they have been proven to provide emotional support countless times. However, these house pets sometimes are not able to deliver. Some may not have the training to be an emotional support animal. Some may be too loud and playful for the patient. Some may require a lot of your time and money.
What can a therapist alternatively suggest? A lot of people are unaware that snakes can also be a viable option for animal therapy.
Others might be hesitant to engage with these animals since they see them as poisonous and dangerous, but various types of snakes do not possess these qualities. With that, here are reasons why you should not overlook a snake as a therapy pet.
They Cater To The Specific Needs Of People With Autism
In some cases, the hyperactivity of cats and dogs might overwhelm those with autism. Therefore, the best way to address this is to pair them up with idle, relaxed, and slow-moving animals like the snake. Their movements and scales are fascinating to observe, and these characteristics also calm the mind. No need to worry about them disrupting you at times that you have to focus.
They Are Easy To Take Care Of
Most therapy snakes can dwell in the four corners of their glass cage. All you have to do is build a comfortable environment where they can still regulate the correct body temperature for its lifestyle. Its cage also does not need much space compared to that of a cat or a dog. For reference, a boa constrictor which is 8 feet in length, can comfortably live in a 30-cubic-feet area.
They Contribute To Lower Blood Pressure
This pet is also beneficial for someone with high blood pressure. Watching them crawl smoothly and elegantly inside its tank can be both soothing and meditative. Several studies revealed that it is as calming and relaxing as yoga. From here, there is a significant possibility that the heart rate and blood pressure of the patient will lower.
They Do Not Set Off Allergies
Compare to other household animals, these types of reptiles are known as hypoallergenic animals. They do not produce dander since they have scales instead of soft skin—no dander, no allergies. Therefore, snakes are more suitable therapy animals for people who have a sensitive immune system.
They Do Not Stress Out Owners
Admit it or not, dogs become angry, frustrated, or depressed whenever their owners do not give them their desired attention. This situation sometimes stresses out the owners. Snakes, however, do not display this kind of behavior. They are low-maintenance, and they do not immediately resort to these stressful behaviors, given that they are solitary creatures.
Although they have a negative reputation among many people, snakes are still considered one of the prime candidates for therapy animals. They are unique, and they provide services that no other domestic animal can.