What Science Says About Animal Assisted Therapy
There is a strong bond between animals and people. Animals are accepting, non-threatening and non-judgmental, making it easier for people to open up.
Interaction with therapy animals can temporarily affect the release of various neurotransmitters in the brain. Animals help humans reduce stress. Studies show that interactions with therapy animals
. Playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress–reducing hormone oxytocin (linked with bonding) and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol (immunosuppressant associated with stress). All of which are very essential to optimum human health.
The goal of animal assisted therapy is to improve a patient’s mental, social, emotional, physical and cognitive functioning.