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Kraigmo's avatar

What's the difference between "pet therapy" and just hanging out next to an animal?

Asked by Kraigmo (7816points) July 17th, 2010

The only difference I can think if is about $75. Are there any other differences?

In some cases, I think “pet therapy” is really just a cover for dog-lover doctors to have their dogs with them in the office. Have you ever noticed that?

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6 Answers

jazmina88's avatar

I think you are so right. People charge you $75 to pet their dogs????


Your_Majesty's avatar

More brain stimulation,I guess,especially for disabled people.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Pet therapy dogs have special training to go through before they can be certified for pet therapy. They are taught how to respond to different situations they may be in (like visiting people in the hospital or nursing home). Beyond that, I don’t think there is much difference. Typically, the people participating in pet therapy don’t have the option of someone bringing in a regular pet due to restrictions of where they are at.

jazmina88's avatar

my dog hates kids and was awesome loving with the sr. citizens, even though my mom complains about her stepping on her foot. Shw would be awesome in a nursing home…especially at her old age, she could get a free room. :):)

Chrissi85's avatar

Pet Therapy is often used in hospitals and the like, where the long term patients obviously can’t interact with animals very often. My sister used to get pet therapy and it did loads for her. It’s worth paying for in some circumstances…

Battousai87's avatar

I guess in theory, there is no real difference between pet therapy and sitting next to an animal hanging out. I’ve never heard of anyone charging for pet therapy though. Usually it’s volenteers in a community. they have a dog that is particularly good with people, and then engage in special training for the dog to get them used to the environment, and also to ensure that the dog is calm enough to be welcomed into a hospital, retirement home, etc without causing more trouble than it helps.
the purpose of the pet therapy is usually to bring that extra brain stimulation as Doctor D has said above. that extra brain stimulation is often associated with an increase in pleasurable chemicals released into the body (like when you pet a dog, you feel happier, those are the chemicals working). The pet therapy also gives the patients or retirees a companion to enjoy the company of. Also a long history of emotional connection isn’t required for a person to feel comfortable with a pet like it often is for a human.
the last reason i can think of is that pets, particularly dogs, are incredibly adept at sensing when something is wrong with someone. For example a heart attack or a stroke, a dog can tell when it is happening way before the person even begins to show the symptoms. That is one reason why people who have seizures often have a dog with them, when they are about to have a seizure the dog will go nuts, barking and the person knows they are about to have a seizure and can lie on the ground before they fall to it, and seizure dogs are trained to actually lie on their owner which helps them to not thrash around during the seizure as much. Therapy dogs don’t usually go that far, but any dog, when a person is about to have a seizure, stroke, or heart attack will start barking like crazy and alert people to a problem before it happens. It’s really quite amazing

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