The Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) employs animals to help patients improve their physical, social, mental, and emotional functioning. However, this is depending on the demands of the patients, as different animals, such as horses, cats, dogs, dolphins, and rabbits, are utilized in therapy. Animal-assisted therapy is used in a variety of settings, such as prisons, nursing homes, and hospitals. Furthermore, the use of animals to promote human well-being has been practiced for centuries but is still on the fringes of complementary therapy. This research examines the beliefs that have guided animal-assisted therapy over the years. moreover, the use of AAT still provides a vital part of human lives and seemingly keeps one healthy and in peace with the environment around.

Scientific research on the impact of animal-assisted therapy

Scientific research has been continuously conducted to obtain data on the impact animal assisted therapy. For instance, according to Reynolds (2012), people who interacted with pets had lower blood pressure than those who did not own one. Evidently, the impact on animals on one’s health is vividly evident in the contemporary society. For instance, in an average American neighborhood people are continuously adopting a dog as pets in their households. Apparently, this presents the growth of animal-human bond created and which is significantly helpful to regulate one’s emotional pressures (Cipriani et al., 2013). Moreover, a study research on dementia among elderly individuals proves that their conditions improved by presenting changes such as smiling and speaking in social gatherings; apparently, this was achieved through a pet dog aided program where they used the dog to elicit for socialization (Cherniack & Cherniack, 2014).


In conclusion, animal assisted therapy involves therapeutic goal with defined strategies to achieve a good outcome, the experiences including, walking, washing and petting the animal. Clearly, this presents an ultimate bond; for instance, animals are not- judgmental which is a common cause of disagreements and emotional imbalance among people. However, with the use of a pet, one is going to benefit in ability such as, increase self-esteem, emotional balance and improve personal health.


Cherniack, E. P., & Cherniack, A. R. (2014). The Benefit of Pets and Animal-Assisted Therapy to the Health of Older Individuals. Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, 2014(2014). doi:10.1155/2014/623203

Cipriani, J., Cooper, M., DiGiovanni, N., Litchkofski, A., Nichols, A., & Ramsey, A. (2013). Dog-Assisted Therapy for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities: An Evidence-Based Review with Implications for Occupational Therapy. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 31(3), 214-240. doi:10.3109/02703181.2013.816404

Reynolds, A. (2012). Pets as therapy: where is the evidence? Nursing & Residential Care, 14(9), 478-481. doi:10.12968/nrec.2012.14.9.478

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