Pet therapy is more than a just a passing fad in the medical community. Pets are an instant boost to a person’s mood, but there are more benefits to pet therapy than meet the eye.
Pet therapy is an excellent addition to any substance abuse treatment program, as it can impart lasting changes to a patient’s behavior and self-esteem.
Having a pet is a big responsibility – it is a living, breathing animal that is reliant on you for it’s care. Providing a therapy dog in a treatment center setting provides an opportunity for clients to take on some responsibility in a controlled setting.
Caring for the therapy dog can teach the clients valuable lessons about the importance of being a reliable, contributing member of society once they return to the world at large.
As they successfully take on the responsibilities associated with the therapy pet, patients’ confidence and self-esteem will grow exponentially. They have tangible evidence of their progress, and receive feedback from the therapy pet in the form of its affection and attention.
This confidence boost is an enormous aid to clients new in recovery as it helps them feel
success in their sobriety is possible.
Therapy animals are very accurate barometers for the emotions of their human companions.
Pets are able to provide a feedback loop for patients, which allows them to both identify
emotions they are experiencing as well as learn how their emotions affect those around them.
As they progress in their treatment they can begin to respond to the therapy animal’s
emotions, learning to take others needs into consideration.
Animals are a source of joy for people the world over. Nothing is quite the same as a happy pet bounding towards its owner, tail wagging with excitement. The benefits of pet therapy are deeper than a simple mood enhancer; pets provide opportunities for patients to learn and grow in early sobriety, giving them the tools to build confidence and a greater level of emotional intelligence.