Share-A-Pet Assisted Therapy is a free service offered by trained and insured volunteers and their certified therapy dogs, to hospitals, nursing homes, and children’s centers. Pet-Assisted Therapy involves the direct interaction between patients and pets. It is this direct interaction that offers a wide variety of benefits to the patients.
The most obvious benefit of this type of therapy is the joy expressed in interacting with a pet therapy dog or other animal. Most of the residents we visit have had pets of their own and are often reminded of the love and affection they felt for their own animals. Anyone who has owned a pet knows the unconditional love they bring to everyone they touch. Some facilities have found that the need for various medications like anti-depressants has decreased dramatically with the incorporation of Pet-Assisted Therapy.
Pet-Assisted Therapy offers more than just emotional up-liftment. Residents are also naturally motivated to move and stretch as they reach for and pet the animal, often initiating movement out of individuals which conventional therapies were unable to accomplish.
Pet-Assisted Therapy also offers a welcome break to most hospital and nursing home routines. When offered on a regular weekly basis, we have found that the benefits of Pet-Assisted Therapy carry over from week to week.