Essay On Animal Assisted Therapy

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Animal Assisted Therapy: What are the Benefits?

“I just love dogs, and there really is no better companion than an animal.” Rita Rudner meant by this, that animals, and dogs in particular, are great companions in almost all situations, and can be helpful in many things. Some say that a dog is a man’s best friend, which is very true in that they can be of assistance in therapy in addition to many other types of animals. Dogs have an overall positive effect on people and help them in many ways and can assist in making a human feel better. Animal-assisted therapy is beneficial because it develops social behaviors, improves mood, and increases physical health.

In the case of a person with a disability, the presence of trained animals can help to develop social behaviors. A person who has a disability may have a more difficult time interacting in social situations than a person who does not have a disability; interacting with animals helps to teach the appropriate behaviors that apply both to animals and humans. For example, a person that does not have a disability may immediately know to start by calmly approaching the animal, while a person with a disability may approach the animal quickly and in an alarming manner. When a therapist works with a person with special needs, he or she may suggest to approach an animal slowly and calmly rather
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Petting an animal, specifically a dog, has been known to release serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin, which are endorphins that make a person happy (“Puppy Love” 1). In addition, petting an animal reduces levels of cortisol which is a hormone known to cause stress ("Therapy Pets And Humans With Mental Health Issues" 1). Simply petting an animal helps to increase positive hormones and mood and to reduce levels of stress. The same endorphins that improve the mood also have a positive effect on patients with mental health

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