What is animal therapy?


Animal therapy is a type or class of therapy that is based on the interaction between humans and animals, with the aim of optimizing physical, mental and emotional health. This type of therapy has become very popular in recent years due to its numerous benefits and the improvement it brings to people's quality of life.

In the following article we are going to talk about a more detailed approach to therapy with animals and how it contributes in a positive way. to the well-being of people.

What is animal therapy?

Animal therapy uses trained therapy animals to help people achieve specific goals. These animals are usually dogs or horses, although other species such as dolphins or rabbits are also used. They are trained by health professionals. so that the therapeutic work is the most optimal and best possible.

What are the benefits of animal therapy?

There are many benefits that animal therapy offers. Some of these benefits are as follows:

  • Improved mental health. Animal therapy can help reduce the levels of stress and anxiety that a person can suffer. It also helps to treat the symptoms of depression and improve the patient's mood. Additionally, animal therapy can be beneficial for people suffering from different types of disorders such as autism.
  • Physical stimulation. Participating in therapy with animals such as walking a dog can help treat mobility or physical coordination problems. This type of therapy therefore helps patients with some type of physical disability or who have suffered some type of injury.
  • Improvement of social skills. It has been found that animal therapy helps improve people's social and communicative relationships. By interacting with an animal, patients can practice different social skills.
  • Increased motivation and self-esteem. Working with animals helps to increase people's motivation to participate in such treatment and to promote their own self-esteem. Working with an animal will make therapeutic activities much more attractive to people, which makes them fully involved in such a process.
  • emotional help. Animals are perfect when it comes to providing some emotional help to people who need it. The presence of an animal such as a dog or a horse can be ideal and perfect when it comes to treating stress, especially at times of certain emotional problems.

therapy horses

What types of animals can participate in this type of therapy

In recent years, the diversity of animals that can participate in this kind of therapy has increased considerably. Either way, the best animals are those that have some empathy and they are able to connect perfectly with people. Apart from horses and dogs, dolphins are perfect for practicing this kind of therapy. They are quite cheerful and connect perfectly with human beings.

What matters when using certain species to the detriment of others, is the emotional bond they may have and the ability to empathize with people. Finally, we must emphasize the fact that the animals that fully participate in the various therapies must have and be up to date with the different vaccines.

Areas in which animal therapy works

Animal therapy can be used with anyone in need of such therapeutic intervention. as is the case of mental health disorders or terminally ill. In any case, this type of therapy works mainly on four well-differentiated areas:

  • physical area. Includes all activities aimed at treating physical problems.
  • Cognitive area. They are those activities that seek to improve learning and memory.
  • Emotional area. Understand those activities aimed at improving emotional health.
  • Relational area. It seeks to improve social skills and communication.

therapy dog ​​breeds

Types of animal therapy

Animal therapy includes different kinds of treatments. Among the most popular are the following:

  • Animal assisted therapy. This type of therapy is usually carried out in clinics or hospitals with the aim of treating various medical or psychological conditions. Animals are used as part of a comprehensive treatment that has the purpose or objective of helping patients with various ailments or problems.
  • Animal therapy in schools. In these cases, therapy is used in educational settings in order to help improve social and emotional skills in certain children who need it. This kind of treatment is also perfect when it comes to motivating children to study and improve academically.
  • Animal therapy with the elderly. This kind of therapy is used in order to improve the quality of life of the elderly. Animals offer companionship and emotional support that is truly optimal for many seniors.
  • Therapy with animals in rehabilitation centers. It is used to aid both the physical and emotional recovery of people rehabilitating from either injury or serious illness.

In short, animal therapy is a therapeutic-type intervention that is quite effective and is capable of offering a good number of benefits for people who undergo it. Animal therapy has been proven to help improve people's mental and physical health. On the other hand, this type of therapeutic treatment allows the promotion of social skills and offers strong emotional support to those who need it. Animals provide a special bond with human beings and as such this therapy allows finding the long-awaited well-being.

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