Many people require various types of assistance in order to do their everyday responsibilities. Some people are unable to live independently without the assistance of others or properly trained pets.
Others simply gain from a visit with an animal since it gives them a sense of serenity and relaxation. People benefit from the specific services provided by therapy animals.
Therapy animals, not to be confused with service dogs or emotional support animals, are socialized and taught to bring comfort and affection to people in a variety of stressful situations.
Therapy animals are most usually seen at hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and disaster regions, and they are divided into three types: therapeutic visitor animals, animal-assisted therapy animals, and institutional therapy animals.
A therapeutic visitation animal is the most popular type of therapy animal. These are frequently pets that travel to different locations, such as detention facilities, to interact with individuals who may miss their own pets, but return home with their owner at the end of the day.
All types of animals are used as therapy animals, but regardless of the species, they are normally assessed by a veterinarian, get basic training, and are vetted to ensure they get along well with people.
Therapy animals are not protected by federal law, but some states have their own laws that provide owners and their dogs privileges. The National Service Animal Registry provides vests, collars, registration, and other services.
Dogs, by far the most frequent form of therapy animal, come in various shapes and sizes and make excellent therapy animals. Many people have certainly encountered a therapy dog at some point in their lives.
Therapy dogs are frequently seen at hospitals, nursing homes, schools, detention camps, and other public areas where you might not expect to see a dog.
Dogs are traditional human companions, therefore it is natural for people to appreciate their company. Dogs have been demonstrated in studies to assist calm and relax individuals, and therapy dogs are proof of this.
Larger breeds, such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers, are more commonly recognized as therapy dogs, but this does not rule out other kinds.
A dog can certainly become a therapy animal if it is pleasant to people and knows basic obedience commands!
Horses, although being far larger than dogs, are wonderful therapy animals. You won’t see a horse going through a school (unless it’s a small horse), but you will witness equine-assisted treatment practices that use therapeutic horses all the time.
Therapy horses are excellent animals for mental health and are employed in equine-facilitated psychotherapy by addiction treatment institutions, veterans groups, and other medically supervised mental wellness facilities.
Grooming a horse is frequently hailed as incredibly therapeutic, and the human feelings that a horse mirrors have been proved to be quite good for persons dealing with a wide range of psychiatric disorders.
Horses may also teach people how to create trust and work ethic, in addition to how to deal with emotions.
Therapy horses can be ridden or not.
Many cats can make excellent therapy animals, despite being a less obvious choice than dogs or horses. Cats, like dogs, are simple to bring into indoor facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals to console those who are missing their own pets.
Many therapy cats learn to walk on a leash and may be a very calming presence in schools, senior living institutions, and other settings. They are also an excellent indoor therapy animal choice for folks who are afraid of dogs.
A small, quiet therapy animal is sometimes required, and in this scenario, a rabbit makes an excellent therapy animal. Rabbits are easy to travel, do not bark or meow, and are ideal options for those who are afraid of both dogs and cats, as rabbit phobia is uncommon.
A therapy rabbit must be calm and well-socialized, as well as like being handled and patted by humans. A therapeutic rabbit who is also litter box trained is good. Not all rabbits are suitable for this role, but if a sociable bunny is at ease on a harness and four-foot leash, they could make an excellent therapy animal.