What are some of the Benefits of Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) and Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)?
Research studies confirm that AAA/AAT can play an important role in the physical and social / emotional well-being of many people:
- Increases self-esteem
- Improves reality orientation
- Promotes relaxation
- Decreases anxiety
- Brightens mood and brings smiles to faces
- Provides a healthy outlet for positive touch
- Serves as a diversion when pain or discomfort are present
- Fosters nurturing and play
- Serves as a communication bridge between patient and medical staff where normal communication has been impossible
- Provides emotional support to family members and staff
- Serves to motivate patients in specific, goal-oriented therapy sessions
- Lowers heart rate and blood pressure
- Motivates children to practice their reading skills in classroom settings
Most importantly, therapy dogs provide unconditional love, comfort and acceptance to those who need it the most.