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What to Expect in Animal-Assisted Therapy

a man playing with his dog and thinking about what to expect in animal-assisted therapy

If an animal-assisted therapy program sounds like a dream come true, that’s because it is. At least, it is for some people who are in recovery. However, you can’t know whether animal-assisted therapy is a good fit for you until you understand what the program entails, including all of the options and benefits. To learn about the benefits of animal-assisted therapy and what to expect in animal-assisted therapy, contact the compassionate care team at Vertava Health at 844.470.0410 today.

What Is Animal-Assisted Therapy?

Not everyone is drawn to animals. But for those who are, animals can help them through the recovery process. In some cases, interaction with a dog can cause reduced feelings of pain or stress.

In many cases, an animal-assisted therapy class may be worth a try. The only question is, which type of therapy most appeals to you? To answer this, you have to first look at the various types of animal-assisted therapy:

  • Equine-assisted therapy
  • Dolphin-assisted therapy
  • Canine-assisted therapy

Equine-Assisted Therapy

Equine is a term that refers to members of the horse family. So equine therapy is any therapy that incorporates these kinds of animals. Different programs have different methods and goals, but the general idea is to identify your own emotional responses in relation to the animals. Horses are able to read and mirror human emotions, which makes them a great asset in the world of therapy. The primary purpose of equine-assisted therapy is to gain self-awareness, improve self-control, and achieve greater self-management. In addition, the fresh air and contact with other souls is a great mood booster as well.

As for the actual activities incorporated into this type of animal therapy, horseback riding is at the top of the list. However, that is not the only responsibility you’ll have as a participant. Frequently, feeding, grooming, and caring for the animals are part of the additional requirements.

Dolphin-Assisted Therapy

Dolphin-assisted therapy is more common in certain areas of the country than in others, but it can be a great method of animal therapy if you have access to it. This type of therapy involves swimming and interacting with these intelligent undersea characters. Like horses, dolphins are incredibly intuitive. They’re also curious and fun. This combination makes them a great asset to therapists who want to help their patients develop a more controlled and positive outlook.

Unfortunately, dolphin-assisted therapy can be quite expensive. These programs are most common in places like Hawaii and California.

Canine-Assisted Therapy

If you’re looking for a more affordable option in your search for an animal-assisted therapy class, dogs are another common option. Interacting with a dog boosts spirits, encourages relaxation, and promotes communication. Being with a canine companion makes you more likely to open up to your therapist. As you might imagine, this only serves to help you progress and grow in your therapy experience.

As an added bonus, dogs can reduce feelings of loneliness. Since isolation is a common feeling for those who are in recovery, it can be a positive solution to those emotions.

Learn More About What to Expect at Vertava Health

Interacting with an animal can improve a person’s mental and physical health. It can lower your blood pressure, improve your cardiovascular health, and even reduce the need for medication for some people. Plus, animals lower anxiety, provide comfort, and increase mental stimulation.

So if you are looking to learn more about what to expect in animal-assisted therapy, we really can’t blame you. At Vertava Health, we want to help you learn more about this treatment and whether it’s a good fit. Give our office a call at 844.470.0410 to learn more about the types of therapy we offer in your area.