Animal-Assisted Therapy

Understanding Animal Assisted Therapy

What is animal assisted treatment therapy? The connection between therapy animals and people is formidable. Adults, children, and the elderly all find therapeutic happiness in their animal pets. Research proves the benefits of animal assisted therapy for mental health.

a family with their pet dog

Let’s discuss more details of the treatment in this article.

What Everyone Genuinely Loved About The Treatment Process

Animals indeed help with anxiety, stress, and depression. Furthermore, they offer company and alleviate loneliness. Finally, therapeutic animal pets add delight and absolute love.

Experts have learned a lot more regarding the link between mental health and animals/ pets for the past years. Because of this, animal-assisted therapy plans have become a significant aspect of mental health management. Also, people benefit from having mental health pets, like an emotional support dog.

During the 90s, mental health programs for teenagers integrated equine therapy. This type of therapy dynamically utilizes horses in its treatments.

Animal-Assisted Therapy Benefits

It Helps Alleviate Anxiety, Stress And Other Health Issues

Animal-assisted therapy focuses on the interaction with a kind and loving dog that decreases one’s cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone. Having an animal or pet for therapy also causes a surge of oxytocin, which is another chemical that decreases stress. Moreover, the act of touching an animal or pet decreases blood pressure.

Animal-assisted treatments or therapy make us feel more important and wanted. The simple act of taking care of an animal pet has great mental health benefits. Taking care of another living being provides us with a sense of meaning and commitment.

a woman with her pet cat

In a previous study on mental health and pets, seniors were given hamsters to care for. Researchers kept track of their moods for more than two months. Consequently, the participants assigned to care for the hamsters were less anxious and depressed after two weeks than those outside of the control group. Thus, researchers validated that animal-assisted treatments yielded mental health benefits.

Animal Assisted Counseling Animal

Research around mental health and animal-assisted programs of therapy revealed that playing and interacting with animals significantly lowers stress hormones. Animal-assisted therapy increases one’s dopamine and serotonin levels. These two hormones pacify and calm the nervous system. When you laugh or smile at your pet’s loving gestures, you are already activating your happy hormones. Indeed, therapy that is animal-assisted has tremendous benefits for those with depression.

Animal Assisted Therapy Prevents Anxiety

Animal-assisted therapy can protect kids from anxiety. A study was performed on 640 kids, half of which took care of pets at home. The researchers gauged their physical activity, anxiety levels, screen time, BMI, or body mass index. It was found that all the kids had the same BMIs, physical activity, and screen time, regardless of whether they had pets or not. However, they had differing anxiety levels. More than 20% of the kids who had no pet dogs were positive for anxiety in their screening tests, and only 12% of those who had pets experienced anxiety.

The Treatment Improves One’s Overall Health And Wellness

At present, Miami and Saint Louis University psychologists performed several experiments on the advantages of animal-assisted therapy. Subsequently, the results revealed that owners of animal pets had alleviated their well-being in various aspects, including improved physical fitness, improved social skills, and less fear and anxiety.

Animal love: woman with her horse

Final Thoughts And Takeaways To Consider

As a consequence, animal-assisted programs can aid individuals in becoming more attentive. Mindfulness is a therapeutic mental process of focusing on the present. Thus, they significantly help adolescents and teenagers appreciate and seize the present moments. Additionally, pets are a great distraction for teens from the things that bother them. Finally, spending time with animal pets helps kids of all ages to be more lighthearted and playful.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What do you do in animal assisted therapy?
  2. What does animal assisted therapy look like?
  3. Do animals aid to cope with depression?
  4. What is the success rate of animal-assisted therapy?
  5. Is animal-assisted therapy ethical?
  6. What animals are good for children with autism?
  7. What breed of dog can be a therapy dog?
  8. Do pets affect your mental health?
  9. How do you get an emotional support animal?
  10. What is the best pet for anxiety?

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