What's the difference between a service dog, an emotional support dog, and a therapy dog?
Animal therapy organizations certify a variety of species including dogs, cats, birds, pocket pets, and mini horses!
What services does a therapy dog provide?
- Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) provide structured yet informal opportunities for educational or recreational benefits to enhance quality of life. Certified therapy animals and their handlers facilitate these activities in a variety of public environments.
- Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a personalized intervention overseen by a health and human services provider in conjunction with a therapy dog team. There is a specific end goal in mind, such as improvement of fine motor skills or increased range of motion. Goals are identified prior to the session, and the results of the session are documented in the client’s record.
What are the benefits of AAA and AAT?
Therapy dogs provide many wonderful benefits. Therapy animal visits:
- Help us build interpersonal connections with our peers
- Strengthen our emotional intelligence and the ability to empathize with others
- Offer us an opportunity to nurture another living being and nurture ourselves
- Encourage awareness of and sensitivity to animal welfare concerns
- Contribute to our overall feeling of being loved, cared for, esteemed, and interconnected
Numerous research studies have shown that interaction with animals reduces blood pressure, lowers anxiety and stress levels, and stimulates the release of endorphins, which help people feel good!