Below is our list of reasons to utilize Animal Assisted Therapy within the context of Occupational Therapy;
There is a consistent, significant, well researched, link between the presence of dogs utilized in Animal Therapy and the normalization of blood pressure for clients and patients.
Specifically, when performing Animal Assisted Occupational and Physical Therapy where there is direct interaction and or contact with therapy dogs and horses the clients movements and responses often become more natural, organic and spontaneous. They are less rigid, stiff or robotic.
With direct interaction of specifically trained, dogs and horses, therapists consistently report clients and patients willingness to walk farther, or perform more repetitions or work for a longer period of time, then without the support of the animals.
When performing Animal Assisted Therapy within the context of Occupational Therapy, clients and patients are often more socially interactive, complain less, report lowered pain levels and laugh more frequently.
The presence of the therapy animals encourages clients, patients and therapists to relax, feel more joyful and feel happier not only about the therapeutic process but their progress toward outcomes.
With clients and patients who have a high degree of noncompliance/resistance, the utilization of therapy dogs and horses may increase participation and produce significant progress toward desired outcomes.