No, I’m not saying my doctor is bad, I’m saying dogs can be a great therapeutic aid for frail people. I have a wonderful memory of when I was in elementary school and in my oratory there was the custom of accompanying children to visit old people in retirement homes. Some children discovered new grandparents and some elderly lady (old men were rare) adopted a new grandson.
Once, we children, we witnessed something new and absolutely extraordinary at the time, a girl was there with her little dog, and she played lots of games and entertained the ladies in the wheelchair, Jack, I still remember his name, he was a nice little guy and full of energy, but equally patient and attentive to all the indications of his “human colleague”. It was a beautiful day, my friends and even us children were thrilled and we made the two new “therapists” promise to come back soon.
Now pet therapy is known by many and used in many areas, not only with elderly people, but also with children and adults with disabilities, with small children, often starting from the nursery, and in all situations, our furry friends do their part admirably. It is not just about dogs, but also about horses, donkeys, rabbits.
Of course it is a job in which you do not improvise from one day to the next, pet therapists are serious, qualified people who have university-level studies and knowledge behind them, and who have been able to train their furry friends with a lot of patience and love.
What are the benefits of this particular therapy?
Just the contact with the animal gives a feeling of relaxation and peace, the heartbeat of the person decreases, there are positive effects on mood and psychological state, anxieties and fears are mitigated, one has more desire to do movement and being active. Our furry friends give themselves completely, have no foreclosures or prejudices, are happy to find playmates and become attached to them with great simplicity.
Also for kids who have self-esteem and relationship problems, taking care of a dog and having responsibility for it increases self-confidence and makes them grow more balanced.
Of all the animals, the dog is considered the most suitable for doing this job because it is by nature sociable and communicative, sensitive and easily trained. There is no specific dog breed, although Labradors or Golden Retrievers are often the ones that best meet the needs of this type of therapy. However, what matters is that they are sociable, docile, meek, balanced dogs that easily adapt to different situations.