What Are Therapy Animals? The Best Therapy Animals

People petting dog in group therapy session

Many people require various types of support in order to do everyday chores. Some people require the assistance of others and specially trained pets to live freely. Others just gain a sense of quiet and relaxation from a visit with an animal. This unique service is provided by therapy animals.

Therapy animals, unlike assistance dogs or emotional support pets, are socialized and trained to bring comfort and compassion to people in a variety of stressful situations. Therapeutic visiting animals, animal aided therapy animals, and institutional therapy animals are the three types of therapy animals most usually seen in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and disaster zones.

A therapeutic visiting animal is the most popular type of therapy animal. These are frequently pets that visit various locations, such as detention centers, to interact with individuals who may be missing their own pets, but then return home with their owner at the end of the day. Animals of many types are used as therapy animals, but regardless of the species, they are normally assessed by a veterinarian, given basic training, and vetted to ensure they get along with people. Although no federal laws protect therapy animals, several states have their own legislation that give owners and their dogs rights. The National Service Animal Registry offers vests, collars, registration, and other services.

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    Blonde goldendoodle with senior citizens

    Dogs, the most prevalent form of therapy animal, come in a variety of sizes and shapes and make excellent therapy animals. Many people have likely seen a therapy dog at some point throughout their lives. Therapy dogs are frequently seen at hospitals, nursing homes, schools, detention camps, and other public areas where a dog would be unexpected.

    Dogs are traditional human companions, so it's only natural that people appreciate their company. have been demonstrated in studies to help individuals relax and quiet down, and therapy dogs are proof of this. Larger varieties, such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers, are the most commonly seen as therapy dogs, although it doesn't rule out other kinds. A dog might certainly become a therapy animal if it is pleasant to humans and learns basic obedience instructions.

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    Therapy Horses


    Horses, despite their size, are great therapy animals. You won't see a horse wandering through a classroom (unless it's a small horse), but therapy horses are frequently used in equine-assisted therapy procedures. Therapy horses are wonderful animals for mental health, and they are also employed in equine-facilitated psychotherapy by addiction treatment institutions, veterans groups, and other medically supervised mental wellness facilities.

    Grooming a horse is frequently promoted as a very therapeutic activity, and the human feelings that a horse mirrors have been proved to be quite good for persons dealing with a variety of psychiatric disorders. Horses may also teach individuals a range of skills, like trust and work ethic, as well as how to deal with emotions.

    Therapy horses may or may not be ridden.

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    Therapy Cats


    Many cats may make excellent therapy animals, albeit they are less visible than dogs or horses. Cats, like dogs, are simple to bring into indoor institutions like nursing homes and hospitals to help people who are missing their own pets. Many therapy and may provide a calming presence for students, the elderly in assisted living homes, and others. They're also an excellent indoor therapy animal for those who are afraid of dogs.

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    Therapy Rabbits


    A rabbit makes an excellent therapy animal when a tiny, quiet therapy animal is required. Rabbits are easy to travel, do not bark or meow, and are a wonderful choice for those who are afraid of both dogs and cats, as rabbit phobia is uncommon.

    A good therapy rabbit is calm, well-socialized, and enjoys being handled and patted. A therapeutic rabbit that is also litter box trained is good. Not all rabbits are suitable as therapy animals, but if a nice bunny is at ease in a harness and on a four-foot leash, they might be an excellent choice.