On world animal day we’re talking about animal-assisted therapy, more commonly known as therapy, and its benefits.
What is it?
Animal-assisted therapy, more commonly known as pet therapy, the use of animals to help people better cope with mental and physical health problems. Sometimes animal-assisted activities also fall under the bracket of pet therapy. These are activities that provide people with comfort and enjoyment.
Therapets are often trained to remain calm in stressful situations, around large groups of people and around strangers.
Pet therapy has been known to lower blood pressure and in turn improve cardiovascular health. It also released endorphins which have a calming effect on the brain. This helps to reduce pain, sometimes reducing the amount of medication people need.
The release of endorphins also aids mental health. Therapets help to reduce anxiety and help relieve the symptoms of depression.
Having a therapet at home decreases feelings of loneliness and isolation as well as providing comfort and encouraging communication. This can be particular beneficial for people with speech and emotional disorders.
Therapets can assist people who are nervous and uncomfortable reading. Assistive-animals provide a non-judgemental environment for learning, improving self-confidence and self-esteem.
Find out more
There are a number of organisations who provide animal-assisted therapy in schools, care homes and to individuals.