Benefits of Pet Therapy

Therapy in the simplest terms is healing and in pet therapy, an animal assists in that healing. Animals are unique in many ways, starting with their strong senses. Since most animals have built-in survival skills, they are able to pick up on one's individual cues and emotions better than the average human. They are nonjudgemental and accepting which allow for relationships to be formed. Often times, animals are the icebreakers during new introductions easing everyone's nerves and anxiety. Pet therapy not only offers many physical health benefits but also promotes good mental health. The presence and even touch of an animal can lower one's blood pressure by releasing endorphins that calm the body. The act of petting can reduce the amount of medication a patient needs because of the automatic relaxation response. During visits, individuals' spirits are lifted, smiles are more prevalent, and the art of conversation is encouraged. Animals provide comfort while increasing socialization and reducing boredom and anxiety. 

While most pet therapy is provided with dogs, horses have a unique quality about them. Every child sometime in their life has wanted to be a cowboy or cowgirl. When miniature therapy horses are used in children's hospitals, this dream can come true. Their small size and gentle eyes make them easy to approach without any intimidation. Their uncommon presence makes for a special experience they will remember for a lifetime.