How Pet Therapy Helps Patients

How Pet Therapy Helps Patients

Today, more and more senior care organizations are utilizing the benefits of pet therapy or animal assisted therapy to help patients in a variety of ways. A study published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control noted that 41 percent of U.S. hospice care providers offered complementary and alternative therapies. Nearly 59 percent of those providers utilized pet therapy. Today, the number is much higher.

Pet therapy is a guided interaction between an individual and a trained animal. The primary purpose of pet therapy is to help a patient recover from or cope with a health problem or a mental disorder. Pet therapy can be helpful in reducing blood pressure, anxiety, boredom, loneliness and even pain in some cases. Many healthcare experts agree that patients are noticeably more active and responsive during and after animal visits. Just check with any of the top national hospice agencies and you’ll find they have a pet therapy program available.

Pet therapy can be used in many different ways. Organizations use pet therapy to help patients needing help in specific areas of treatment including motor skills improvement, helping with verbal communication, helping improve social skills and interacting with others, motivating patients to exercise, increasing self-esteem, decreasing anxiety and loneliness and improving assisted or independent movement.

If you are interested in finding out more about pet therapy for your business, check out Pet Partners, the national leader in demonstrating and promoting animal-assisted therapy, activities, and education. Chances are they can hook you up with a local organization offering these services.

Pet therapy stories: See how they’re helping

Pet therapy helping local seniors

“Judy Shelton enjoys seeing her family at the nursing home where she stays, but yet, she can't resist visiting with some furry friends as well…”

Dog lends a helping paw to residents of senior living facility

"If dogs had occupations, Boggles, the 2-year-old Chihuahua, would be a smile maker..."

Group provides therapy dogs to assist in veterans' recovery

"Cincinnati veterans have been getting help from an unlikely source, as therapy dogs have been making visits at the VA Hospital..."

Learn more about Science Care's HOPE program for hospice patients and the terminally ill.