Some of us are so healthy we hardly need the aid of something or someone to go to go about our daily activities. But what about those who not as privileged as us? There are so many people who are unable to live independently without the help of a trained pet or someone a care giver.
Some other people simply enjoy the benefits of being visited by a pet that gives them emotional support, a sense of calm and relaxation and some sort of balance. That is the job of therapy animals.
Therapy animals are not the same as emotional support animals or a service dog. These animals are specially trained and socialised to provide their services to people who need the presence of animals to provide them with affection and comfort in various stressful environments.
You can mostly find therapy animals in disaster areas, schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. And these animals are categorised into three different groups namely: The animal assisted therapy animals, the facility therapy animals, and the therapeutic visitation animals.
The most common type of therapy animals are those ones called the therapeutic visitation animals. These animals go to various places like detention facilities where there are people who would be missing their own pets and could use the visit from some other pet.
However, at the end of their visitation this therapy pets go back home with their owners. Almost all kinds of animals can be utilised as therapy animals or wherever before they take on this responsibility they have to go through a screening by a veterinarian, undergo various kinds of training and also are confirmed to do well around people.
Although therapy animals are usually not protected under any federal law, some states may have their own law that grants certain rights to the owners of these pets.
Registration of these animals, vests, colours, and several other services are provided by the National Service Animal Registry.
As earlier stated, almost any animal can make a good therapy animal. however in this article will be looking at the very best options that are available.
Table of Contents
1. Therapy dogs
Therapy dogs are easily the most commonly seen species of therapy animals. Dogs are man’s best friends and they come in various sizes and shapes which makes them a very wonderful options of therapy animals. Most people would probably come across a therapy dog at least once in their lifetime.
You may often see a therapy dog in a detention facility, a hospital, a nursing home, schools, and various other public places where you might find it weird to see a dog walking around.
Dogs are one of the most friendly creatures thus it is very easy for people to bond with them and enjoy their presence. several studies have you filled. Dogs and great at aiding relaxation and helping people calm down.
Therapy dogs are just another testament to these claims. Larger dog breeds such as the golden retriever and the labrador retriever are usually used as therapy dogs nevertheless it doesn’t mean other breeds won’t do just as great.
As long as a dog gets the basic training on how to take instructions and also knows how to be friendly around people, such a dog would make a wonderful therapy animal regardless of what size, shape, or breed it is.
2. Therapy horses
Wild horses are very large animals when compared to dogs they also make wonderful therapy animals. unless it’s a miniature horse you would hardly ever see a horse walking through a school or walking around the hospital however you would often see equine-assisted techniques of therapy used horses.
Therapy horses are very awesome animals when it comes to mental health and they are also used most of the time in equine-facilitated psychotherapy by veteran groups addiction treatment centres and many other facilities for mental wellness that are usually overseen by medical experts.
You probably have heard people testify to how therapeutic it is to groom a horse in addition to the human emotions they try to mimic sometimes. Therapy horses have proved to be very beneficial to people dealing with different kinds of psychological conditions.
Asides been able to calm people and make them feel some sense of purpose and balance, horses can teach us a few things like work ethics, trust building, and lots more. There is no rule against riding on therapy horses it all depends on the owner of the horse.
3. Therapy cats
Cats are a much less obvious option compared to therapy horses and therapy dogs, but these animals can make very wonderful therapy animals if only we decide to give them a try.
Just like our K9 bodies feelings are portable and easy to take take into indoor facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, and schools where they can help to comfort anyone who may be missing their pets.
Most people who have therapy cats training them to walk comfortably on a leash. And these cats have been discovered to help provide a calming presence for elderly folks in assisted living facilities, school children, and people living in other conditions therapy cats have also been discovered to be a better indoor option for people who are allergic to dogs.
Most therapy animals that usually nicely groomed so you have little or nothing to worry about when it comes to cleaning and your safety when you come in contact with a therapy cat.
4. Therapy rabbits
While lots of people love medium sized animals, there are many others who would prefer something soft and small for a therapy animal and that is when a therapy rabbit becomes the best option.
Rabbits are a very wonderful species of therapy animals because of their size and how quiet they can be. One advantage of a rabbit being a therapy animal is that it is very easy to transport it makes almost no noise and it’s a better option for people who are both scared of cats and dogs as a fear of rabbits is very rare.
A good therapy rabbit needs to be well socialized, and friendly enough to enjoy being handled and petted by people.
It is also advisable but a therapy rabbits box litter trained however if your rabbit is comfortable on a four foot leash and harness, then it just might be a great therapy rabbit.