Pet therapy is one of the fastest-growing forms of treatment in the country. By interacting with animals, over 94% of people can feel a reduction in stress and anxiety. This is powerful compared to the lower statistics of other forms of healing. This can even be paired with those to boost their effectiveness.
What is Pet Therapy?
Pet therapy is therapy through interaction with animals. This can be either owning the animal or getting introduced to them during therapy. This gives the person in therapy a chance to interact with something new while also helping them work through their ideas and feelings.
Pet therapy can give individuals a chance to relax and feel a connection in a judgment-free zone, which is often a powerful feeling.
1- Eases Anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most stressful things to deal with. It can change the physical shape of your brain because of the amount of real stress you endure. Petting a dog reduces stress in over 94% of patients who were introduced to the form of therapy and helps ease symptoms of anxiety.
2- Tactile Stimulation Distracts
Touching and petting a dog can also distract your mind away from negativity or hurtful thoughts. It grounds you and pulls you back to where you are and why you’re there. This is also great for patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia since it grounds them in there and then.
3- Regulates Emotional Reactions
It’s harder to have an emotional outburst or want to yell at someone when you’re petting a dog or cuddling a cute rabbit. We want to take care of the animal, we want it to like us, and we want to show we can be responsible with this duty.
This can help train better behaviors and long-term emotional regulation.
4- The Ease of Not Feeling Judged
One of the most difficult parts of therapy for some people is the fear of being judged. Nobody wants to bear their soul to someone only for it to be looked down on or told they’re wrong.
A dog won’t judge you. A pigeon won’t mind if you want to talk for hours. This can help build confidence.
5- The Intrigue of a New Interaction
New interactions come with a lot of excitement! Something new and shiny can leave you excited to see how the exchange goes if the animal likes you, and so much more. This intrigue is brand new for the first few sessions until the animal and the patient become comfortable around each other, which is magical to watch happen.
Is It Right for Everyone?
Although pet therapy is powerful, it isn’t for everyone. If someone has a phobia of specific animals or has allergies, it might not be the best idea to try on the patient.
Pet Therapy Should Be Considered in Most Nursing Homes!
Pet therapy is one of the best ways to ease the stress levels in patients and help them interact with the world around them. If you’re considering alternative forms of therapy for your patient or loved one, consider pet therapy.