What can be done to communicate the importance of animal therapy to human health and how can I reinforce this?
Studies have found that there are health benefits of pet ownership or animal-assisted therapy (AAT) in children and the elderly as well as the mentally disabled/impaired. There has been an increasing use of animals in areas ranging from hospitals and nursing homes to schools, jails, and mental institutions. Several investigations yielded improvements in behavior in demented persons undergoing activities involving animals.The effect of pets on physical health suggest animals can lower blood pressure and dog walkers partake in more physical activity. In addition to that, animals provide a level of social support for those mentally ill in institutional care. Interacting with animals in itself is a powerful health improver; it can increase people’s level of the hormone oxytocin. This nearly cost-free anxiety reducer and its accompanied health benefits should certainly be considered when looking into therapy alternatives.