Animal therapy involves animals as a form of treatment. The goal is to improve a client’s social, emotional, or cognitive functioning. Animals can also be useful for educational and motivational effectiveness for participants.
Animals are tools for therapy because they can make people feel safe and loved when they have been deprived of social interaction or hurt by other people. They do not communicate with words, and so patients afraid of approaching people can comfortably approach an animal. Animals commonly used for therapy include dogs, cats, and horses.