Pet therapy involves using trained animals to help people cope with or recover from diseases and conditions. Animals are selected for pet therapy based on their friendliness, their ability to interact in a non-threatening way, or simply the companionship they provide.
Pet therapy is used to help improve quality of life, Alzheimer's disease, anxiety, anxiety associated with a risky pregnancy, dementia, depression, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), high blood pressure, pain, stress, autism, down syndrome, diabetes, muscle strength, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pain after surgery, spinal cord injury, schizophrenia, and psychological well-being.
Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
The Effectiveness ratings for Pet therapy are as follows:
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of pet therapy for these uses.
Pet therapy might help reduce stress and promote relaxation. This might reduce the risk of symptoms in stress-related conditions. Pet therapy might also reduce feelings of isolation
Aspects of pet therapy that involve physical touch might stimulate pleasure in
the brain, which encourages relaxation and well-being. Pet therapy might also
work by distracting patients from pain and activating comforting thoughts.
Pet therapy is LIKELY SAFE when used appropriately and when pet therapy does not take the place of proven treatments.
Some people might be allergic to certain animals used in pet therapy. Also, there have also been reports of pet therapy animals carrying diseases that have been transmitted to patients. Animals used for pet therapy should be always be screened by a veterinarian.
Pet therapy should not be used in place of standard treatments for diagnosed conditions.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of pet therapy during pregnancy and breast-feeding. However, there’s no reason to suspect safety concerns when used correctly.
Children: Pet therapy is LIKELY SAFE when used appropriately.
It is not known if this treatment interacts with any medicines.
Before using this treatment, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.
There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.
There are no known interactions with foods.
The appropriate or safe use of pet therapy depends on several factors such as the condition being treated or the person administering the treatment. Be sure to seek and follow relevant directions from your physician or other healthcare professional before using this treatment.
The basic purpose of pet therapy is to provide simple companionship. The most commonly used animals in pet therapy are dogs, which allow for the best level of interaction. However, cats, birds, fish, horses, and other animals have also been used for therapeutic purposes.
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