HomeHealthWhat is Animal-assisted therapy? – AAT

What is Animal-assisted therapy? – AAT

Animal-assisted therapy - AAT

What is Animal-assisted therapy? – AAT

In this beautiful world, different kinds of plants and animals surround us. We must be aware of the advantages and medicinal purposes of plants. But have we ever thought that animals could also be beneficial for improving the quality of life? It may be possible that we as humans may like or dislike pets based on our perception. But, it’s fantastic to know that spending time with pets acts as a therapy for some diseases.


Pets are loving companions for all of us. Hence, it makes no sense to differentiate. It would help if you opted for yourself. Any breed, or even the stray ones, will serve the purpose. According to the State University of New York, a person in the company of his pet will face more minor stress issues than his other family members. Since the pets are very much attached to you, they reflect your mood and, in most cases, the powers of pets cheer you up with their activity and innocence. 

Most people rarely know about the healing powers of Pets. But, some people who own them may be aware of the facts. Let’s get to know how pets make a difference in your lives:

  • Owning a pet means you have fewer chances of facing high blood pressure. Being around your pet decreases your blood pressure and stress. 
  • In the modern era of nuclear families, people feel lonely and depressed. On the contrary, having a pet, most likely a dog, makes you happier, more trusting, and less lonely. 
  • When you take your pet for a refreshing walk, you unknowingly take care of your health. It promotes your exercise like running activities, jumping thus, improving your fitness.
  • Pet owners experience the power of healing emotional and physical pain. Pet therapy is a growing field that helps people recover from many health problems.
  • Pets like dogs, cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs are essential helpers in raising babies. Babies who get pets company during the first six months have lower chances of asthma and allergies.
  • Your pet may add to your social connection if you are less social. When you spend time with your pet in a park, people get attracted and reach out to you for some interesting gossip.
  • It is fantastic that cats can mend broken bones through their deep purring. That is to say, The purring vibrations ranging from 20 to 140 Hertz can help the healing of bone injuries.
  • Now, there is a specific term for such therapies. These healing powers of the pets are altogether known as Animal-Assisted Therapy(AAT). Let’s understand it in a better way:

Now, there is a specific term for such therapies. These healing powers of the pets are altogether known as Animal-Assisted Therapy(AAT). Let’s understand it in a better way:

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) involves spending time with an animal for a goal-oriented therapy session, including physical, emotional, or psychological goals.

The duration of each AAT session may be almost one hour. In the first few sessions, the therapist understands the client’s history and their compatibility with the therapy animal.

What is animal assisted therapy

AAT involves which Animals?

There are many options for the animals to be chosen for AAT, such as dogs, cats, dolphins, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. In India, dogs are the most preferred ones. The reason for choosing dogs is that they have a good emotional connection with human beings. They can read facial expressions and understand visual communication.

Does breed matter in AAT?

The breed of the animal species doesn’t matter at all. It is essential to ensure that animal training is enough to react to various stimuli.

When is Animal Assisted Therapy AAT used?

AAT is crucial in prevalent diseases such as depression and anxiety post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is also helpful in various neurological disorders. AAT helps to get rid of these diseases without much effort. Let’s understand the significant problems our pet may help us recover soon.

How pets can improve your mental health?

  • Having a pet lowers anxiety and helps people relax:

When we humans spend time from our stressful routine, we unknowingly lower our anxiety in ourselves. We are unaware that we move to a relaxed mood in our life.

  • A pet provides us comfort in our way of life.

Spending just one hour of our precious time with our pet redirects us to a comfortable zone from a stressful area. As a result, it helps us lead a happy and peaceful life.

  •  The powers of pets reduce loneliness within us.

In this world of nuclear families, we often feel lonely in the absence of our family members. But the pets, with their cuteness and mischievous activities, share our loneliness and make us happy.

  • It increases mental stimulation.

Pets are beneficial in sequentially recalling memories and temporal events in patients with head injuries.

  • It helps you provide an escape or happy distraction.

If you own a pet, stop worrying about your life problems and sadness. They will help you escape towards happiness.

benefits of animal assisted therapy

The Benefits of Pets on Our Physical Health

For Physical Health:

  • Lowers blood pressure and helps in improving cardiovascular health 

If you own a pet, spending some time in the morning or evening may lead to changes in your life. Pets unknowingly release stress, anxiety, and other health-related issues. Ultimately, it lowers blood pressure as a part of your routine. And going for a walk with your pet will help you improve your cardiovascular health. That is to say, going for a walk with your pet is a very healthy exercise for you.

  • Breathing slows in anxious people.

It’s a common concern for anxiety-driven people to have severe breathing issues. Being with pets lowers its effect. In other words, if you have anxiety issues, spending time with your pet will help you improve such problems without much effort.

  • Reduces the number of medications

Usually, we all need some of the other medications in our day-to-day lives. But, playing with your pet or spending some quality time with it will very quickly help you avoid medicines. It will also improve your ability to take care of your health without using drugs.

  • Diminishes overall physical pain

Physical fitness is our utmost priority. Now, being physically fit is not just having abs. It also means that you must have less amount of physical pain. If you face physical pain quite often, you must try owning a pet. AAT is very beneficial in overcoming almost all sorts of bodily pains.

  • For Children with Autism

         Children with autism often feel a deep bond with animals and connect better with them than humans. Thus, this helps them during therapy sessions to get better.

  • Relax more during exercise.

 During Animal Assisted Therapy, the participants or the patients feel motivated and encouraged, which means that the treatment is not the therapist’s procedure but is also acceptable to the patients.

Is Animal Assisted Therapy suitable for you?

AAT is not suitable for everyone. Before getting the client to interact with a therapy animal, a therapist considers many

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is not possible if:

  • The client is afraid of animals or doesn’t like them.
  • They feel no connection with the animal.
  • Their religious beliefs may lead to the prohibition of interaction with the animals.
  • They are allergic to any animal fur.

Notably, it becomes the therapist’s duty to look at the client’s compatibility with the animals. It ensures that the animal is safe during the therapy.

To sum up, animals may just be a part of nature for most of us. But, just like the plants, they are beneficial emotionally and scientifically. Our only role is to change our perception of them.

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