Therapy Pets

Therapy animals are animals that bring unconditional love to people in need such as hospital patients, elderly people, orphans and many more; motivating them to communicate. This category has questions relating to therapy animals, their work, etc.

275 Questions
Care of Horses
Physical Therapy (physiotherapy)
Therapy Pets
Equestrian Sports

What is hippotherapy?

Hippotherapy is a treatment method involving horses as a means of working on physical, occupational, and speech-language goals. Impairments that can be improved with hippotherapy include: impaired balance responses, coordination, communication, or sensorimotor function difficulties; poor postural control; and decreased mobility.

The word hippotherapy is derived from the Greek word hippo which means horse. (The word hippopotamus also comes from the Greek and means River Horse.)

Therapeutic use of equestrian mounts was pioneered by the Germans in WW2. They called it Reittherapie (ride therapy, implying horse riding).

Although hippotherapy and therapeutic riding have some risks, as do any animal-assisted therapies, in accredited centers the risks are minimal and the benefits outweigh those risks. This type of therapy is growing in the US with new programs developing around the nation. Programs that are certified by NARHA, the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, have undergone rigorous inspections and found to provide a safe and therapeutic environment that meets their strict standards.

See the links section associated with this question for additonal information from NARHA and a NARHA-accredited "Premier Accredited Center" in the US, SIRE Houston's Therapeutic Equestrian Centers, a non-profit organization.

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Hamsters
Therapy Pets

Can hamsters be therapy animals?

Any animal (as long as it is well behaved and had training) can be a therapy animal.

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Therapy Pets

What kind of science classes for horse therapy?

I'm guessing you mean massage therapy. There are many programs that offer this, and each one has its own requirement. A good knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the horse is a must; a knowledge of diseases and how each affects the body is also very valuable.

If you can't get equine-specific classes, take a good foundation of biology and/or animal health courses. Many concepts in anatomy and physiology can be used for several species.

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Physical Therapy (physiotherapy)
Therapy Pets

How many years of college does it take to be an animal-assisted therapist?

A bachelor's of science degree in psychology, social work, physical therapy, nursing or education. Supplemental qualification and certification in Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a big plus.

It can take anywhere from 4 to 6 years on average to get the degree.

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Therapy Pets

How much does pet therapy cost?

Around $150-$200.

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Therapy Pets

What is the best cat breed for animal therapy?

It depends on what therapy the cat is going to work most with. Here is the 3rd reason, in the link I've added below, for cats being good therapy animals:

3. Petting or brushing long hair cats can be great physical therapy for individuals with muscle disorders.

Recently, long hair cats have been used with patients suffering from muscle conditions. The act of brushing a cat's thick coat can help to slowly increase flexibility and ease muscle and joint stiffness. Not only is brushing a cat's hair good for exercising certain muscles, it is also quite relaxing. The best type of cat for this type of pet therapy is said to be the long hair Persian breed.

http://www.perfectcatcare.com/cat-care/cat-therapy-%e2%80%93-reasons-why-cats-make-good-therapy-animals/

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Therapy Pets

How can you certify your dog as a therapy dog?

Therapy Dogs International offers the TDI test to certify therapy dogs. It involves judging a dog's basic manners, temperament, and reaction to the strange things it would encounter in a nursing home. Good luck! Other organizations include Delta Society's Pet Partners Program and Therapy Dogs Inc.
You would need to speak with a local dog trainer to inquire about their training services. Your dog would need to possess their "Canine Good Citizen" certification and excellent obedience skills. You would also want to make sure that the dog performs two or more tasks to mitigate your disability in order to qualify for legal admittance to restaurants, stores, etc. A good resource for you would be the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners.

The above is answer is correct for a service dog but you asked about a therapy dogs. Therapy animals are trained to visit people in hospitals, elderly facilities, etc. They are not allowed public access like service dogs. If you are interested in doing animal assisted therapy with your dog, contact the Therapy Dogs International or the Delta Society.
you first take your dog to a canine good citizen class which they have at the mspca and after your dog gets the cgc award take a therapy dog class.

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Horses
Therapy Pets

Who invented hippotherapy?

Horses have been used in medical treatments in the BC era. Hippocrates mentions riding in his writings "Natural Exercise". In 1780, Tissot wrote about the beneficial qualities of the horses' walk. Tissot was the first to describe the ill effects of too much riding and possible contraindications. In 1875, a French physician named Chassaign began conducting the first systematic study involving therapeutic riding and patients. He concluded that horseback riding was a valuable therapy in the treatment of certain types of neurological paralysis.

In more recent history, the use of the horse in medical treatment was pioneered in Europe. Germany and Switzerland have strong traditions of using equine movement under supervision of a physiotherapist for orthopedic issues and scoliosis. Hippotherapy began to gain in popularity in Europe during the 1960's and 1970's. In 1969, the organization for therapeutic riding (NARHA) began in the United States. The first international conference for the therapeutic use of horses was held in 1976. In the 1970's American physical therapists began to use the horse in medical treatments. In 1987 a group of American therapists went to Germany to study the European methods and brought back a formal course of study for therapists in the United States. In 1992, the American Hippotherapy Association was formed and by 1999 the first Hippotherapy Clinical Specialists were begin certified in the United States.

Hippotherapy continues to grow and develop with new professionals in the field and ongoing research. Requirements to practice hippotherapy vary by country.

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Animal Behavior
Caterpillars
Therapy Pets

What is maximum length of continuous silk thread obtained from a cocoon?

A single continuous thread of raw silk from 300 to 900 meters (1000 to 3000 feet) can be drawn from a cocoon. The fibers are very fine and lustrous, about 10 micrometers (1/2500th of an inch) in diameter.

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Domestic Dogs
Service Animals
Dog Training
Therapy Pets

How do you train your dog to be a service and therapy dog?

first start by taking your dog in to public places, and letting adults and little kids pet him and play with him. if you write back we will go from ther.

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Domestic Dogs
Service Animals
Dog Training
Therapy Pets

Is a therapy dog the same as a service dog?

No. A therapy dog is a pet that volunteers with its owner. It helps large groups of people through friendly visiting.

A service dog is a working dog that does tasks and work to help mitigate the disability of its one handler.

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Tampa
Therapy Pets

Is there a therapy dog testing available in the Tampa Bay Florida area?

* Pasco PAWS Therapy Dogs is a Therapy Dogs Incorporated affiliate. See link below. * The Alpha Society, Inc. See link below. * Paws for Friendship. See link below. * Sit n Stay Dog Academy. See link below. * Call Project PUP (Pets Uplifting People): (727) 450-5018. * Courteous Canine (a Delta Society affiliate). See link below.

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Therapy Pets

What breeds are used for horse therapy?

Any breed can be used. The key is the animal must have a calm temperament, be well trained and under good control, and be strong enough to carry any special gear or support rider that might be needed.

Other contributors have said:
  • The only one i know is quarter horse. sorry. i .
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Care of Horses
Therapy Pets
Adverbs

How is hippotherapy held?

Hippotherapy* usually is held at a stable with scheduled sessions for each client. The individual client's needs are evaluated and the treatment plan and goals are determined by licensed therapists. The sessions will be scheduled according to those assessed needs and goals, as well as client abilities and tolerance. The scheduling process will take into account these needs and a plan of the session frequency, duration of each session, and how each session is to be conducted to best meet those needs is created.

The sessions will be designed to enable the treatment plan and achieve the stated therapy goals. Therapists will determine if the session will be a 1:1 traditional session with one client and one therapist, or if group therapy would be more beneficial. Treatment sessions typically last one hour or less, and the individual therapy needs of the participants are worked into the program of activities and are also considered in great detail when the selection of the horse, tack, and session plans are made.

The client is paired by very knowledgeable therapists and equine experts with the right horse to match their abilities and the best one that can provide the motions and challenges that are required. Superior knowledge of the movement of horses, the effects of the different types of tack (e.g., English vs. Western or Vaulting tack), special adaptive equipment, and client's physical, medical, and emotional needs are employed. Side walking staff may or may not be utilized as a safety factor, again, at the discretion of the therapists. Additionally, the tack is custom chosen and fitted for the client with adaptations as needed.

For those who have any ability to groom, tack the horse, and clean tack, those activities may also become opportunities for motivation and treatment on an individualized treatment plan, often for occupational therapy. These activities, when made a part of the plan, will usually extend the amount of time the client's session will last. These activities are also often used in other types of therapy and Animal Assisted Therapy as well as in Equine Assisted Therapy.

Volunteers, and staff of the facility providing the therapy, are given roles in the therapy sessions by the therapists and instructors. There can be different names for the roles in different locations. Some are called Sidewalkers, who walk beside the horse to assist with safety as well as to encourage the client and facilitate the activities of the care plan; others are called Lead Walkers/Horse Leaders; still others may be called Horse Handlers, etc. The assigned roles help assure that all safety precautions are taken and through proper protocol and procedure, the risks are minimized. Stable hands, grounds keepers, administrative staff and others will be assisting in various roles during a session.

The rewards of volunteering with this type of program are great. Watching these amazing animals, who know exactly what their job is and have an intuitive ability to provide for the specific client's needs is entrancing. The sight of a child, who comes in a wheel chair, has never walked or had any independence of movement, nor control of anything in their lives due to the restrictions of their disorder, and who is sitting for the first time on this gentle giant that they can control and relate to emotionally, as well as physically, will bring tears to the eyes of the toughest cowboy.

*Hippotherapy is a term used in the United States to describe a healthcare treatment session provided by licensed therapists that utilizes the movement of the horse to help clients achieve physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy goals. Impairments that can be improved with hippotherapy include: impaired balance responses, coordination, communication, or sensorimotor function difficulties; poor postural control; and decreased mobility. The term is derived from the Greek hippos meaning horse.

The practice came into use (somewhat oddly) in World War II Germany, and was said to be effective in rehabilitating Battle-fatigued Luftwaffe vets. It was not known if the Horse activity or merely being taken off Duty for R and R (rest and recreation) turned the stable key, so to speak. Since then, the process and programs have been continually perfected and the effects are found to be directly related to the therapy.

See the other questions on Hippotherapy in the related questions section below.

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Domestic Dogs
Therapy Pets

How do therapy dogs help people?

Well, in therpay, dogs reduce the risk of health problems like heart attacks, and on so. Get a dog today! :D

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Domestic Dogs
Dog Training
Therapy Pets

Do service dogs have to remain on the floor in a restaurant?

A serive dog is not allowed on the table in a resturant, they do have to remain on the floor.

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Health
Care of Lizards
Therapy Pets

What is pet therapy used for?

Studies have shown that physical contact with a pet can lower high blood pressure, and improve survival rates for heart attack victims.

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Service Animals
Therapy Pets

Where can you find a therapy dog training place?

The top three therapy dog programs in the U.S. are: the Delta Society, Therapy Dogs International, and Therapy Dogs, Inc.

In the UK the top program is Pets as Therapy.

Find a local therapy dog club, training class or evaluator by consulting local resources, such as your veterinarian, local dog clubs, pet stores, and any facility you may be interested in visiting. Remember that even once a pet is registered as a therapy animal the owner must still have permission from the facility before they can visit. Some facilities only permit pets with specific qualifications such as registration with specific organizations. If you know there is a particular place you wish to visit, save time by asking them first what they require.

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Therapy Pets

How are Horses used for therapy?

Horses are used as therapy animals to help humans of all abilities and ages live a better life. Therapeutic riding programs cater to the physically and mentally disabled. Hippotherapy programs cater to people who are recovering from an injury that affects their ability to walk, or for people who have lost limbs, or can no longer walk. Equine-assisted learning caters to individuals of all types, but mostly those with emotional problems such as fear of abandonment and anger aggression. There are dozens of other programs that use horses as some form of therapy, either with a licensed therapist or on a more casual level. The Wild Horse Inmate program uses horses to help rebilitate inmates in Colorado and Refuge Ranch (along with dozens of similar programs) uses horses and horse rescue to help at-risk children.

Horses are used for therapy because they able the child to trust them, regain there muscles and horses help them feel like they are liked by them not by what they look like

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Therapy Pets

Can ponies serve as therapy animals?

Ponies can be therapeutic, but you need a lot of room, in a rural envronment, for animals of that sort. For most people, dogs and cats are much more practical.

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Therapy Pets

Can therapy horses really help you?

yes, in unimaginable ways. i have horses myself and have formed bonds with them that are stronger than with my own family.

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Domestic Dogs
Dog Training
Dog Behavior
Therapy Pets

How do you keep your dog on the pad while pooping?

In my experience pads don't work. They are only good for the guy that invented them. Ask your vet or humane society how to crate train your dog. It is a much better method.

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Dolphins and Porpoises
Marine
Physical Therapy (physiotherapy)
Therapy Pets

What is Animal Assisted Therapy?

The terminology in this continually evolving area of human-animal intervention has undergone many changes over the years and is still not standardized nationally in the US or internationally, and can create confusion. For a better explanation of what Animal Assisted Therapy is, and what it is not, first an explanation of the types of certifications and programs for which animals may be used and types of services and animals involved will help add to clarification.

In the US, probably the leading general service and therapy animal training and certification programs and resources are provided by the Delta Society. (see link to their web site below in the related links section) The Delta Society explains the differences in the terms Service, Therapy, Companion and Social/therapy/Visiting Animals at their web pages. The following excerpts are from their pages: * "Service Animals are legally defined (Americans With Disabilities Act, 1990) and are trained to meet the disability-related needs of their handlers who have disabilities. Federal laws protect the rights of individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their service animals in public places. Service animals are not considered 'pets'. * Therapy Animals are not legally defined by federal law, but some states have laws defining therapy animals. They provide people with contact to animals, but are not limited to working with people who have disabilities. They are usually the personal pets of their handlers, and work with their handlers to provide services to others. Federal laws have no provisions for people to be accompanied by therapy animals in places of public accommodation that have "no pets" policies. Therapy animals usually are not service animals. * A Companion Animal is not legally defined, but is accepted as another term for pet. * 'Social/therapy' Animals have no legal definition. They often are animals that did not complete service animal or service dog training due to health, disposition, trainability, or other factors, and are made available as pets for people who have disabilities. These animals might or might not meet the definition of service animals." Visiting animals is a term that is also non-standard, but is often used to describe both Companion Animals and "Social/therapy" Animals. They provide a means of contact with pets and companion dogs for a social interaction. They often are taken for visits by their volunteer owners/handlers to nursing facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, people's homes, and other settings where the value of animals for elevation of mood, the health benefits of contact with animals in a social atmosphere, and other benefits such as memory enhancement through recall of happy memories of pets from the past help with orientation of confused patients. Each community may have their own programs for training and certifying Visiting Pets, with often multiple programs in large metropolitan areas. Some hospitals and facilities will require a certification from one or more of the local pet visiting organizations before allowing the animals to visit. A Delta Society certification is accepted by most, if not all, of these locally managed programs and by many facilities nationally who may not accept the local groups' certifications.

The definition for Service Dog/Animal according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was enacted in 1990, is an animal which has been "individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability." This same law defines a "disability" as a "mental or physical condition which substantially limits a major life activity."

Service animals must be trained to perform activities or jobs that are related directly to the disability of the individual.

Many animals in addition to dogs can perform one of the assistance functions defined above. One of the most well known types of Service Animals is the Guide Dog for the Blind. The most well known and respected training programs for Guide Dogs for the Blind are accredited by the International Federation of Guide Dog Schools in the United States. There are ten accredited schools in the US and still more in other countries.

But in some areas some other types of animals are trained to perform this Guiding for the Blind function. For example, in the Houston, TX, US area, there is a trained Guide Horse for the blind. It is a miniature horse, no bigger than a large dog, complete with harness like the dogs wear, and custom "tennis shoes" for its hooves. It performs all the same services a Guide Dog performs and can assist even more with its particular owner because of strength and balance as a Mobility Assistance Animal for its owner who has problems with balance in addition to the vision problem. It is "housebroken" and serious (but very cute) as it performs its respected services. Service Dog is used as a species-specific term to refer to dogs in the roles of service animals. Another species that often provides services that meet the ADA definition of Service animal is the group of primates. Because of their finger dexterity, they can significantly improve the lives of a paralyzed person or person who has no use of their hands or fingers for other reasons.

Other species are also used in activities and therapies that are not legally "Service Animals" by the definition of ADA, some are: Llamas, cats, rabbits, therapeutic riding horses and ponies, dolphins, birds, cattle, lambs, oxen and other animals used for driving with carts and buggies, etc. "Service Animal" is defined legally, but some or all of the same services and activities through out the years prior to the legal definition have often also been performed by animals called Assistance Animal or Assistance dog.

Conditions and disorders that are often aided by the assistance of Service Dogs are associated with diagnoses such as:

• Arthritis

• Ataxia (poor balance)

• Autism

• Blindness

• Deafness or Impaired Hearing

• Diabetes

• Cardio/Pulmonary Disease

• Cerebral Palsy

• Physical mobility Issues

• Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.)

• Psychiatric Disabilities

• Seizure Disorders (Epilepsy)

• Spina Bifida

• Spinal Cord/Head Trauma

• Stroke

Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT), although not legally defined, is mostly universally used among the various organizations to mean Therapy (mostly physical, but not restricted to physical only) performed by degreed and licensed medical therapists, such as Registered Physical Therapists(RPT) or Registered Occupational Therapists (OTR), who use the assistance of specially trained and certified animals to accomplish their therapeutic goals that are individualized to a specific patient's care. Therapy Assistance Animals and Therapy Assistance Dogs have proven to be successful motivators who make therapy fun, or provide aspects of therapy that are not possible for humans to perform. These, however, are not the same as Service Animals.

Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) can provide similar therapeutic benefits, however, usually the registered Physical or Occupational therapists are not involved in the activities directly, as is required in AAT. The RPT and OTR therapists may well describe the activities that would be beneficial or therapeutic and work in conjunction with the other professionals in the activities, but not provide a direct role or even direct supervision. The persons guiding the AAA can be degreed and licensed Activity Directors, Social Workers, Registered Nurses, and Recreational Therapists, where the goal is not just entertainment, but some health benefit is targeted and expected from the activities as well. But again, these are not considered Service Animals.

The information at the Delta Society web page (see link below) includes more information on these programs of AAA and AAT. Therapeutic activities that may be employed in Animal Assisted Therapy are, for example, activities that encourage a patient to focus less on the pain and action of the physical motion for which the therapy is given and more on the presence and interactions of the animal. Some of the common activities that my Therapy Assistance Dog and I volunteer to perform, under the direction of a Physical Therapist, involve normal activities of living, such as having the patient take the leash and "take them for a walk". While the patient is enjoying the interaction with the dog, and the accompanying dog handler, and while the dog calmly, enthusiastically, and carefully heels beside them (or their walker or cane or wheelchair), the patient often will move farther in a therapeutic activity than they have previously without the assistance of the dog (and without even realizing it). They look forward to the therapy sessions rather than dread them. Other activities, for example, could be directed at arm and shoulder exercises performed by throwing balls or toys for the dog to retrieve; hand, grip, finger, shoulder, and arm exercise obtained while brushing or grooming the dogs; stooping, reaching, bending, and balance control when providing food, water, or treats for the dog; walking stair steps with the dog at their side, which helps them feel more secure with "someone" at their side opposite the railing, etc. Another form of Animal Assisted Therapy is Therapeutic Riding (also sometimes called "hippotherapy" or Equine Therapy) where patients are directed by Registered Physical Therapists (or OTRs) in therapeutic plans with goals toward muscle strengthening, coordination, attention and concentration enhancement, balance, etc., while working with and/or riding, or driving horses and ponies. These therapy programs are usually certified in the US by NARHA, the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association. (See the related questions and links below for more information about Therapeutic Riding and Driving programs.) These physical therapy activities are referred to as Equine Assisted Activity and Therapy (EAAT).

According to NARHA, conditions that have shown proven benefits from EAAT are: Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Visual Impairment, Down Syndrome, Mental Retardation, Autism, Multiple Sclerosis, Spina Bifida, Emotional Disabilities, Brain Injuries, Spinal Cord Injuries, Amputations, Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder, Deafness, and Cardiovascular accident/Stroke. I have worked with a NARHA Premier Equine Assisted Therapy Center and program handling and training the horses, and assisting the clients in their therapies, and have seen some clients and their family members have dramatic quality of life improvements from the EAAT.

Some additional (and non-physical) Animal Assisted Therapies with equines include the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMHA) programs of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) and Equine Facilitated Learning(EFL).

As defined by NAHRA and EFMHA, EFP "is experiential psychotherapy that involves equines. It may include, but is not limited to, such mutually respectful equine activities as handling, grooming, longeing, riding, driving, and vaulting. EFP is facilitated by a licensed, credentialed mental health professional working with an appropriately credentialed equine professional.". . . "for people with psychological issues and mental health needs, including anxiety, depression, and autism." And EFL is "an educational approach that includes equine facilitated activities incorporating the experience of equine/human interaction in an environment of learning or self discovery. EFL encourages personal explorations of feelings and behaviors to help promote human growth and development. One of the animal species with the longest history of benefits to and interactions with humans is the Dog. Other activities that dogs perform, that fall outside both the realms of Animal Assisted Therapy and Service Animal work, are the working dogs jobs of SAR (Search and Rescue), Drug Sniffing Dogs, Bomb Dogs, Police dogs, etc. And also outside of the Therapy Assistance and Service Dog definitions are dogs working and bred for activities historically falling in the AKC "Working Group" of dogs, such as: guarding property, pulling sleds, and performing water rescues. And the jobs of the dogs in the AKC "Herding Group", used to help humans and other animals in herding and herd guarding activities, are also notconsidered Service Animals or Animal Assisted Therapy dogs.

The US Service Dog Registry (see link in links section below) keeps a registry and information about Service Dogs and makes the distinction between Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs and other animals involved in the different aspects of working with humans. They state on their web page, "Guide dogs, used by some individuals who are blind, are the most well known type of Service Dog. Other specific terms for specialized service dogs include Signal Dogs for the deaf or hearing impaired, Mobility Assistance Dogs, Seizure Response Dogs, and Psychiatric Service Dogs. The terms 'Service Dog', 'Service Animal', and 'Assistance Dog' all mean the same."

Additionally, the US Service Dog Registry clarifies, "In short, any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity might be a candidate for a Service Dog. Please note that Therapy Dogs, Search & Rescue Dogs, Forensic Dogs, Police K-9's, Military Working Dogs and other types of working dogs are NOT Service Dogs . . ."

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Care of Horses
Therapy Pets

How can therapy horses help us?

Therapy horses can help by foacusing your mind onto something elce and having a good time.

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Cats (Felines)
Therapy Pets

Are cats used as therapy animals in America?

Yes!

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