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:

Enzo at MacNeal

  • 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.