According to the American Pet Products Association, more than 84 million households have a pet within their home. People develop a connection to their canine companion. Some people even believe that when they are feeling down or depressed, their pet can help them overcome the mood just by cuddling with them or through other small gestures.
Research has been conducted to show the importance of pet or canine therapy and how it can be successful in boosting positive moods in humans. Commonly, dogs and horses are the most used animals for addiction treatment. However, dolphins, guinea pigs, cats, and even fish can be used as therapy pets.
What is Canine Therapy?
Canine therapy or canine-assisted therapy programs practice self-healing and health by using dogs. Just like many other animals, dogs are accepting, they do not judge, and they provide comfort and unconditional love making canines perfect for addiction therapy and companions. A therapy dog used for addiction treatments will go through training before being allowed to work with patients.
Many people can benefit from canine therapy. Those who have learning disabilities, autism, substance abuse, and behavioral problems can all benefit from this therapy. Also, canine therapy can be exceptionally successful for those who have trouble communicating.
Breeds Best for Canine Therapy
Therapy dogs provide affection, acceptance, comfort and unconditional love for people going through addiction treatment. A therapy dog must have a particular personality to be accepted into schools, hospitals, and even nursing homes. These dogs must be gentle, calm, patient, and most importantly affectionate. Any breed can be trained for therapy; however, the following breeds commonly have the best qualities for therapy work in treating addiction and mental health:
- German Shepherd
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Saint Bernard
What are the Benefits of Canine Therapy?
Canine therapy programs lead to the following benefits. The person portrays:
- Better moods
- Decreased anxiety and depression
- Not feeling as lonely
- A sense of purpose
- Ability to take care of themselves and others
- Improved communication and social skills
- Improved focus
- Improved physical activity
- Improved self-esteem
- Increased levels of oxytocin
- The ability to set and respect boundaries
- The ability to love, show affection and nurture
- Lowered blood pressure
- Lowered stress levels
- Motivation towards therapy and treatment
Therapy dogs have been known to have parallel feelings for their people. Through canine therapy, a dog can help patients gain knowledge of certain addictive triggers and help patients cope with their emotions.
Canine therapy can have immeasurable therapeutic results. Children and teens often respond exceptionally well to this kind of treatment, by developing trust and strong bonds with these therapy animals. Many patients are more comfortable when their focus on their addiction has diverted to something else such as a dog.
Counselors who are working with the patients can achieve valuable comprehensions by witnessing the exchanges between their patient and the canine companion.
Forms of Disorders Canine Therapy Can Help Treat
Canine therapy is used to treat a variety of ailments, including:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Attachment Issues
- Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
- Grief or Loss
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Substance Abuse
In addiction treatment, you cannot continue doing the same thing and expect to have a different outcome. Sometimes, taking the first step in seeking outside help is what you need to reach long-term sobriety. You can get sober and get your life back on track, and the professionals at Serenity Acres can help you achieve just that. Here at Serenity Acres, we offer animal-assisted rehabilitation to help reduce the risk of relapse and offer different effective addiction treatment programs. A new and sober life can begin with just one phone call, contact us today!