Animal Assisted Activity (AAA) programs utilize pets as therapy to help people with a source of motivation and happiness. The elderly, children and many others benefit immensely from the companionship and opportunity for interaction with animals ranging from cats and dogs to rabbits and llamas.
Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a goal oriented, planned, structured and documented therapeutic intervention directed by health and human service providers. AAT programs are designed to promote improvement in human physical, social, emotional, or cognitive function. AAT and AAA programs (click here to learn the difference) center around highly trained therapy dogs, horses, and in some cases, wildlife such as dolphins and elephants that help:
Assistance dogs not only provide a specific service to their handlers, but also greatly enhance the quality of their lives with a new sense of freedom and independence, as stated by Assistance Dog International. Although Guide Dogs for the blind have been trained formally for over seventy years, training dogs for people with physical and mental health disabilities is a much more recent concept. These highly trained animals allow them to better function in society and can have many different purposes, such as:
This is just a sample of the hundreds of medical case studies that validate the benefit of animal assisted activities (AAA), animal assisted therapy (AAT) and service dogs. We carefully curate medical studies that are part of the The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, which consists of over 6,000 member organizations nationwide. The mission of the NLM is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by: 1) providing all U.S. health professionals equal access to biomedical information and, 2) improving the public’s access to information, enabling them to make informed decisions about their health and healthcare.
Start traveling through the years with the timeline below. Follow the most current medical advances and be sure to check-in monthly for new updates.
Service, hearing and guide dogs truly are their owners’ other half. There are three types:
Animal therapy sessions can be done in variety of settings by a variety of animals but they must be supervised by a licensed medical professional. The most popular AAT types are: