Pet Therapy with dogs: what it is and what it is for

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Il dog it is not only man's best friend, but also a great ally for Pet Therapy, that type of therapy which, in parallel with traditional medical treatments, helps a certain type of patient to improve their condition. So here's what the Pet Therapy con cane (o Dog Therapy) and what are the many positive aspects of this approach.



In this article

  • Pet Therapy with Dog: What is it?
  • The difference between having a dog and Pet Therapy with a dog
  • What are the benefits of pet therapy with dogs?
  • Which dog breeds are best suited for Dog Therapy?

Pet Therapy with Dog: What is it?

Pet Therapy we mean a set of support approaches for the sick, children and the elderly who are actually called officially Animal Assisted Interventions (IAA), an approach of which the country was a pioneer, given that we were the first European country to introduce structured legislation as early as 2022.



La Dog Therapy it is therefore a type of support therapy which, leveraging the emotional and psychomotor benefits given by the proximity to a dog, aims to enhance the effects of a regular healing (or growth) path. Like all types of Pet Therapy, however, even this practice cannot be considered a real therapy, since although it requires specialized figures, it alone cannot be enough to obtain relevant results.

However, the effectiveness of Dog Therapy is now widely recognized and therefore can really represent a turning point for those subjects who have undertaken a long and difficult curative or rehabilitative journey. In fact, it has been proven that the continuous attendance of pets - that is, animals considered by law as "pets" - can facilitate the improvement of the conditions of particular subjects such as children with psychiatric disorders or psychomotor problems, elderly suffering from Alzheimer's Syndrome and people traumatized or affected by disability.

Read also: Pet therapy: what it is, how it works and what are its benefits

The difference between having a dog and Pet Therapy with a dog

Taking care of and raising a dog at home is undoubtedly an important choice that positively conditions the human beings who make it. In fact, looking after a dog is not all empowers the adult or child who takes care of it, but it involves an affective return of immeasurable value, so much so that there are many who equate the close bond with their dog to that which binds them to other family members. In short, having a dog enriches and is good for the body and spirit, especially for children who grow up with a furry and loving companion. However this has nothing to do with Pet Therapy.



In fact, Pet therapy represents a therapeutic path (albeit "only" supportive) that is targeted and requires the joint presence of some specialized operators (psychologists, educators or veterinary doctors), capable of monitoring and conducting the sessions of, and conductors experts, i.e. those who train dogs and must always be present. Only the skilful work of these figures can guarantee a professional - and therefore functional - approach to therapy with animals.

Read also: Pet Therapy with cat: what it is and what it is used for

What are the benefits of pet therapy with dogs?

The dog is proverbially an animal fedele, loving and that love unconditionally your human friend. And it's all true: that's why it's perfect for Pet Therapy!



In fact, this approach allows even closed individuals with a difficult relationship with the outside world (as in the case of autistic children) to forge a strong bond with another living being who has no hesitation in enthusiastically demonstrating all his affection. Just this authenticity devoid of nuances, it can, for example, greatly help those affected by forms of autism, who begin to relate to such simple creatures and then move on to confront other people, overcoming their own barriers.

Not only that: dogs are very good at perceiving body language and therefore understanding the moods of the person in front of them. This allows you to create a very strong empathic bond, which comfort the patient and fills him with positve thinkings, essential for dealing with even the most complicated medical therapies.

Physical contact with a dog ultimately increasesesteem, helps to relax and in some cases it even gives a big hand for the recovery of some motor functions.

Read also: Dogs and children: coexistence, advice and benefits

Which dog breeds are best suited for Dog Therapy?

The most important thing about a Dog Therapy dog ​​is of course thetraining. However, there is no doubt that some breeds are more suitable than others for use in this type of therapy due to some innate characteristics such as a greater propensity to docility, allobedience and sociability.

So what are the dog breeds most used in Pet Therapy? I'm:

  • Labrador Retriever
  • Golden Retriever
  • Boxer
  • French Bulldog
  • German shepherd
  • Carlino
  • Newfoundland
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

However, this does not mean that every dog ​​belonging to a certain breed is suitable for Dog therapy. Obviously it is necessary to evaluate the character of the individual animal case by case and it is not said that a specimen of another breed or mestizo can't be a perfect therapy dog.

SOURCES: NCBI; PubMed; Infant Jesus Hospital

Questions and answers

What are the best dog breeds for Pet Therapy?

The dog breeds most used for Pet therapy are:

  • Labdrador Retriever
  • Golden Retriever
  • Boxer
  • French Bulldog
  • German shepherd
  • Carlino
  • Newfoundland
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

TAG:
  • coexistence of dogs and children
  • animals and children
  • baby and dog
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