The benefits of canine therapy

the dogs they are one of the favorite pets of many because they offer companionship and are made to be loved. In addition, dogs have a special way of accepting people without judging them. That’s why there are more and more psychological therapies who use dogs for support.

Canine therapy: the most common animal-assisted therapy

In animal assisted therapy (AAT), the most common animal used is the dog. The working sessions can be group or individual and the patients are generally children, adolescents, the elderly, the mentally ill, etc.

Therapy with dogs it is used to improve the health and well-being of patients, Pets can be a valuable communication bridge between therapist and patient. According to Boris Levinson, a psychologist who has conducted several studies to learn more about the benefits of pet therapy, it is not only an enjoyable form of therapy, but also provides many physical, psychological and social benefits.

In our article “Cat therapy, discover the benefits of living with a cat”, we already review the benefits of therapy with cats. Unlike dogs, felines don’t seem to need it – and they tend to be more independent. Instead, dogs are constantly showing us how important we are to them.

People who have dogs at home will know firsthand that in good times and bad, their “friend can” will be there to keep them company, so dogs could pretend that dogs are, of a one way or another, natural therapists.

The goals of therapy with dogs

There are many studies that support the benefits of this therapeutic practice. So sick of Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS patients, autistic children, depressive patients or the elderly alone, benefit from the benefits of this type of therapy.

Canine therapy has several objectives, both in the field of rehabilitation and learning, as it is psychologically, cognitively or psychomotor useful, and helps to improve communication or has a beneficial effect on the socialization of patients.

the goals they are varied, but in general they aim:

  • Improve communication skills and personal relationship
  • Improve self-esteem and autonomy
  • Stimulate to perform specific motor activities, How to pamper, brush, etc.
  • Improve social relationships and skills (Empathy, greeting, interest in others, etc.)
  • Reduces anxiety and depression
  • Encourage a sense of responsibility

The benefits of canine therapy

As we have seen, canine therapy affects many areas and has various objectives. But, What benefits does it bring to patients?

Below we present the benefits (not only psychological, but also for other areas of health) of therapy with dogs.

psychological benefits

  • Improve mood
  • Helps improve care (used for children with ADHD)
  • Antidote for depression and monotony
  • Avoid loneliness
  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • They encourage social and physical contact
  • It serves as an incentive and motivation
  • It is pleasant for the patient
  • They create a positive bond
  • Dogs accept us as we are
  • It is used to entertain and develop leisure skills
  • It promotes mental stimulation

psychomotor benefits

  • Improves muscle building, motor skills
  • Improves coordination and promotes increased muscle strength
  • Improves fine motor skills through movements such as stroking, fixing, feeding, etc.

educational benefits

  • Improves social skills (empathy, respect, communication, etc.)
  • It helps to understand the importance of collaboration, commitment and teamwork
  • Reduces unwanted behavior
  • There is play-based learning

sensory benefits

  • It helps increase proprioception
  • It promotes the development of the vestibular system
  • It engages the senses and provides auditory, visual and tactile stimuli

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