The Benefits Of Pet Therapy

The Benefits Of Pet Therapy

3 min read

How man’s best friend can ease mental and physical trauma.

Hey, you! Yes, I am talking to you. I can talk, you know. I see you looking and smiling at me every day after coming home from work. I know you are actually using me to de-stress! All my brothers and sisters, four-legged or no-legged, have been providing you with comfort, joy, laughter and that feel-good factor since the beginning of time. We know you are actually receiving pet therapy from us! Don’t believe me? Read on.

Pet Therapy simi sai?

petting an Animal therapy dog

Image source: Unsplash

No offense to my brothers and sisters. Although we every day also pang sai all over. So pet therapy is animal-assisted therapy that uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with health problems – mental or physical. 

How does pet therapy work?

neighbour soh hugging catchup as pet therapy

Image source: Unsplash

Pet therapy’s foundation is built on the man-animal bond. Us animals and you men have a bond ever since we came into this earth. Take my fellow pet cats and dogs and their owners. You all come home from a hard day’s work, and your pet pounces on you or rubs against you. All your day’s worries and troubles are melted in that warm, furry embrace. Right? That is the principle of how pet therapy works lor.

So imagine someone in the hospital. He is stressed from the illness and all the uncertainties. The doctor then recommends animal-assisted therapy and arranges for a dog owner to visit. After the visit, his spirits are lifted. He forgets about his illness for the time being and immediately feels good. Here are other ways pet therapy can help you:

  • Reduces boredom
  • Distracts you from your present circumstances
  • Provides companionship and decreasing loneliness
  • Increases social interactions
  • Improves mood and general well-being

Who needs pet therapy?

Here are some examples of people who may benefit from pet therapy: 

  • Adults and children in hospitals for a long-term illness 
  • People in long-term care facilities
  • Dementia patients 
  • People with frequent anxiety attacks

It must be noted that pet therapy is a complementary treatment. It should not form the main therapy treatment of a person’s condition. Neither is it a replacement therapy for other forms of therapy, e.g. physiotherapy or psychotherapy.

Got any risks boh?

cats used as Animal therapy

Image source: Unsplash

Have lah. Pet therapy may be effective for people with certain health issues. But ah, it may not be right for everyone and comes with some risks. 

Allergy – Not everyone can take to the fur of an animal. They may suffer from fur allergies and thus, cannot be near an animal. In fact, it could cause more harm than good. 

Sanitation – This is a big concern, especially in hospitals, about safety and sanitation. Safety in the sense of cleanliness and hygiene. However, most pet therapy have stringent rules to make sure animals are cleaned, properly vaccinated, and well-trained at an obedience school.  

Getting too attached – There is such a thing as having too much of a good thing. We pets are cute what! Some people may become too emotionally attached or too possessive of the pet and, in turn, cannot wean off the therapy even after they are discharged. This could prove to be counter-productive.

So now you know – man and animal do talk together. After all, you just read what a goldfish has written!

To find out more about pet therapy, I have listed some references for you:

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