Pet owners clearly know the joy of having their pets around them. Lately, scientists have realised that not only animals are a source of joy for their owners but also, their masters lead a healthier life! Establishment of this fact laid the grounds for the use of animal therapy to heal various conditions.

What is Animal Therapy?

What is Animal Therapy?

Animal therapy is a broad term that includes animal assisted treatment procedures. Animal therapy is an alternative therapy which has been recently developed and offers no side effects. It works by introducing an animal companion in the life of the patient which stimulates emotional well- being. Once the person is emotionally sound; the process of healing boosts up. Nowadays, animal-assisted therapy is being widely used for the treatment of various conditions such as depression, cardiovascular problems, cancer etc.

Animal therapy makes use of dogs, cats and even other animals to help improve the emotional, social and cognitive health of the patients.

The main motto is to provide the nursing home residents with an emotional support, comfort and joy. Animals can readily rebuild the lost optimism in the hearts of the patients and strengthen then their will- power which is a preliminary for any treatment to succeed.

Top 5 Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy:

  1. Benefit of Animal Therapy in Boosting Cardiovascular Health:

    Over the years it has been established that the psychological factors play a dominant role in maintaining a healthy heart. Having a pet animal, mainly a cat or dog has a direct effect in lowering the raised blood pressure. The body releases a relaxation hormone and cuts down a number of stress hormones which promote a healthier heart.

  2. Benefit of Animal Therapy to Treat Psychological Conditions:

    Animal therapy is most widely used in the psychotherapy to treat patients with anger issues and depression. Animals such as dogs and horses are used in the process. These animals are known to relieve the stress level and elevate the mood of the patients. Patients receiving pet therapies are lesser prone to mood swings and show increased social improvements.

  3. Animal Therapy Can Be Beneficial in Reducing the Risk of Allergies:

    Extensive researches and studies have revealed that the risk of catching allergies and infections is considerably low in babies born in houses with pet's animals.

  4. Benefit of Animal Therapy to Heal Wounds:

    The saliva of dogs helps in faster healing of the wounds. Their saliva contains a protein known as the "Nerve Growth Factor which stimulates healing of the wounds two times faster.

  5. Benefit of Animal Therapy as a Rehab Therapy:

    Patients suffering from chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and physical disabilities generally tend to lose all hopes. Animal therapy has shown remarkable results in such cases. These wonderful creatures show extreme love and care towards the patients and provide joy and optimism to the suffering ones.

Risks Associated With Animal Therapy:

The only risk associated with the animal therapy is the safety and sanitation. This is particularly problematic while using animals in the hospital premises. Hospitals generally set strict rules to ensure that animals are clean, well trained and sanitised.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 7, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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