Therapy pets and human mental health issues
What is pet therapy?
Pet therapy is defined as a guided interaction between a specially trained animal and an individual or group, facilitated by the animal’s handler [ii]. Also known as animal-assisted therapy, pet therapy interactions are used to help improve patients’ mental, social, emotional, and physical functions. Therapy can take place in a wide range of settings including hospitals, care homes, and treatment centers and can involve different activities such as walking, looking after, and grooming the therapy animal. Just like any other form of treatment, the specific components of the pet-therapy program are decided on a case-by-case basis so they address the particular needs of each patient.