Pet therapy continues to be a popular discipline in medicine. This form of therapy helps people recover from different health problems. It is commonly known as animal-assisted therapy, which is a structured interaction between an animal and a person. This interaction involves handlers. The handlers are volunteers or pet owners. This form of therapy has a goal of helping people recover from different health conditions such as cardiovascular disorders, cancer, stroke, mental illnesses, and post-traumatic stress.
Use of pet therapy
Pet therapy is founded on pre-existing human-animal bond. It is a form of relationship, which helps human beings cope with mental, social, and mental stressors. Cats and dogs are some of the common pets used in this type of therapy. Moreover, some other types of animals are used if they pass the screening. This is a physical examination of the animal to check whether it is free of diseases and immunized. The animal must undergo some obedience courses. This is necessary to ensure that it does not cause harm to the patient. Also, the handler is instructed and oriented about appropriate patient interaction.
Therapy starts by letting animal together with the handler to visit a certain patient. In each meeting, the set goals are achieved. For instance, if the pet therapy concerns meeting an abused child that has stopped interacting and talking to other people, the healthcare providers set goals for the meeting.
In this case, the goal to be set is to improve the kid’s interest to his or her surroundings by revealing cues such as touching the dog, smiling it, or touching it. After achieving such goals, the healthcare provider will come up with other goals for next meeting. This will continue until the child recovers from his or her traumatic experience.
In health care settings, the interaction of animals with patients helps facilitate communication. This is useful for people that are depressed and those who have traumatic experiences. This form of interaction encourages people to talk, get them back to reality, and show emotions.
This form of therapy is not only useful to patients but also to all other people. In fact, it has positive effects on family members that are prone to extreme stress.