Ferret Care

Animal Assisted Therapy  

A dog truly can be a man (or woman’s) best friend. Undoubtedly, you are a beloved pet owner if you are reading this information. Or, you might be someone interested in AAT and interested in adopting a pet. Either way, you can benefit from the information provided. 


Animal Assisted Therapy, or AAT as some call it (also known as pet therapy) involves the use of animals including dogs to assist people with disabilities or special needs. Many pet owners refer to AAT informally when they describe how their “pets” provide them with comfort, support or physical assistance when needed. 


Pets are very common in modern homes, and for good reason. Historically human beings have used pets for centuries for various purposes, including as friends, family members and helpful hands in times of need. 


If you own a pet, then chances are you are already familiar with the many benefits of owning a pet. Pets are wonderful for soothing a sad spirit, for getting you up and going in the morning, for “talking” with you when you feel lonely, and for supporting you when no one is available to visit. If you don’t own a pet but have an interest in one, or an interest in AAT, you are about to learn just how helpful having a pet can be for your wellness and quality of life. 


Most pets provide companionship, love and can even provide assistance to those in need. 


In recent years many healthcare providers, veterinarians and other health professionals are adopting an approach to therapy that involves the use of animals to guide, heal, aid and assist where applicable and necessary. While this may seem unusual to those uninitiated in the world of pet therapy, the use of animals as therapeutic beings is quite common.  


AAT is now being used to treat everything from weight loss to eating disorders to social phobias and physical disabilities. If you aren’t sure what pet therapy can do for you, dial up an AAT specialist and find out for yourself just how useful pet therapy can be. While simple in its basic form, AAT can be quite complex when viewed from a larger vantage point. 


Why Pets? 

Pets serve many purposes other than providing companionship. Companionship is not something a pet owner should disregard however, as most people have much to gain from the love of a beloved pet.  


According to studies, many times healthcare professionals prescribed the use of pets to help patients overcome problems including anxiety, depression and stress. This “prescription” may be as simple as asking a patient to buy a fish, since often a fish is the least “demanding” of pets to own, yet still summons a world of healthful benefits.  


One of the reasons pets are so helpful for emotional conditions is that unlike humans, pets can provide unconditional love and affection.  


Many patients report they find pets not only warm and comforting, but also amusing at times. Much like a child, owning a pet can prove emotionally rewarding. 


The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that each year over 120 million dogs and cats find their way to homes of needy citizens. Most people who own pets will admit they consider their pet “part of their family.” As part of your family, you will find a pet not only companionable, but also possibly an instrument of healing. That is after all, the ultimate goal of all pet therapy, to provide patients with a tool for healing that is natural, secure and loving. 


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