What are the qualifications of a good therapy pet?
In general, therapy pets should be well-behaved, friendly animals that can be trained to interact with strangers in unusual or distracting situations. They must enjoy human interaction, including lots of petting and cuddling. No biters here!
What is a “Therapy Dog”?
A dog or a pet who meets certain criteria and is trained to work in special settings along with mental /medical health practitioners to facilitate therapy is termed as a ‘therapy dog’.
Therapy Dogs must:
• Have excellent manners and have on-leach obedience training.
• Be under control and well-behaved.
• Be able to work around other dogs and be free of dog-to-dog aggression.
• Be social with people, enjoy being touched, have a stable temperament, and be free of fear and aggression.
• Remain calm in new situations and with distractions.
What kinds of people and places will my pet and I visit?
Therapy pets and their owners visit a wide variety of people and places:
• Patients in hospitals
• Elderly people in nursing homes, old age/retirement homes
• Psychologically or emotionally disturbed children and adults
• Adults and children with physical disabilities
• Special schools/ normal schools
• Disaster victims
What types of animals are used?
Dogs are the most common therapy pets, but horses, cats and even birds have been known to pitch in.
Why Become a Therapy Dog Team ?
The “Top 5 Reasons” you’ll be very happy you did:
1. You and your dog will impact someone’s life in a very unique and powerful way.
2. You and your dog will have the privilege of supporting and comforting someone.
3. You will spend quality time with your dog while helping others.
4. You and your dog will have the opportunity to give back to the community.
5. You will gain perspective and appreciation for life and its challenges.
Why is animal assisted therapy important?
It’s been shown that people who spend time with pets live longer, get sick less, and have lower blood pressure. Petting and talking to animals lowers stress in people and the animals they are interacting with. It can also be a great way to lift people out of isolation and loneliness. Pets are wonderful listeners and provide unconditional love. Therapeutic horseback riding is another valuable type of animal assisted therapy that gives people an additional way to interact with animals.