A therapy with a pet is a guided interaction between a person and a trained animal. It also involves the animal’s handler
The goals of a pet therapy program can include:
- improving motor skills and joint movement
- improving assisted or independent movement
- increasing self-esteem
- increasing verbal communication
- developing social skills
- increasing willingness to join in activities
- improving interactions with others
- motivating willingness to exercise
Other benefits of pet therapy include:
- making you happier, lessening depression, and improving your outlook on life
- decreasing loneliness and isolation by giving you a companion
- reducing boredom
- reducing anxiety because of its calming effects
- helping children learn empathic and nurturing skills
- improving the relationship between you and your healthcare provider
This therapy is based on the support of pets (such as dogs, cats, rabbits, parrots, and tortoises) and is matched to other therapies both to treat psychological disabilities, such as autism, and physical disabilities (hearing and sight impairment, mobility impairment), along with learning disabilities such as anxiety, hyperactivity disorder, and autism.
Pet therapy can be useful for:
- people undergoing chemotherapy
- residents in long-term care facilities
- people hospitalized with chronic heart failure
- veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder
- children having physical or dental procedures
- stroke victims and people undergoing physical therapy to regain motor skills
- people with mental health disorders
During a medical procedure, people may have less anxiety if a pet is present. In rehabilitation, people may be more motivated to recover and practice their therapy when working with a pet.
People who have sensory disabilities can sometimes communicate more easily with an animal. This encourages more interaction with healthcare providers and other people.
further details on https://www.healthline.com/health/pet-therapy#candidates
First you have to get information about specialized centres.
This kind of therapies are quite wide-spread in Italy, even though a decree by the Ministry of health is still awaiting enforcement, which will regulate and acknowledge this activity and the vocational courses needed to work in this field, in order to help citizens sort out valid organizations from unprofessional or amateurish ones.
Remember that in a pet-associated therapy centre you will always find a therapist (a psychologist, a pedagogue, etc.), an animal trainer, a vet and other social workers having attended ad hoc qualification courses (child care workers developing motor skills on a play-based approach).