We all see those heart-warming pictures: a service animal visits a children’s hospital to cheer up the residents. Anyone who owns a pet knows the benefit of having a furry friend around to boost your mood when you feel down. Many different kinds of therapy animals work differently with the groups they visit. Find out more about the emotional benefits of these service animals.
Dogs are by far the most popular service animals. No matter their shape, size, or breed, dogs provide the perfect friendly and calming presence people need. Known for their skills as a reliable companion, man’s best friend does such a great job when visiting nursing homes, schools, hospitals, and other facilities. By stopping by and bringing a smile to residents’ faces, therapy dogs provide a great service to everyone they visit.
Horses actually make up a couple different kinds of therapy animals. Miniature horses serve a similar purpose to therapy dogs by visiting residents and providing an adorable, comforting presence. As for full-size horses, equine therapy helps ease anxiety, disrupts harmful thoughts or behaviors, and promotes confidence. From the calming process of grooming and caring for a horse to the bond and communication that comes through horseback riding, therapy horses do a lot for the people they assist.
As far as cute and cuddly goes, you can’t go wrong with baby chicks. Many science classes hatch chicks during the semester for a reason; caring and providing for another living creature teaches responsibility, and that responsibility can serve as a distraction to mental health problems. Chicks also make a great alternative to bigger animals like horses or larger breeds of dogs, which might frighten some patients. Whether you check back every day to see how the incubator progresses or just pay a visit to a bunch of feathery, chirpy cuties, spending some time with chicks can offer a great way to reset the mind and soothe negative emotions.