• Dr. Rhesa Houston

Definition of a Therapy Animal


What is a therapy animal? Who can use them? Assistance Animals Consulting is your resource to provide education, understanding and guidance for animal assisted therapy interventions.


What is a therapy animal?


The American Veterinary Medical Association defines a therapy animal as an animal that participates in animal-assisted therapy or an “intervention in which an animal meeting specific criteria is an integral part of the treatment process...Animal-assisted therapy is provided in a variety of settings, and may be group or individual in nature.”


Who uses therapy animals?


Examples of settings in which animal-assisted therapy can be provided are schools, assisted living facilities, mental institutions and prisons to name a few. Animal-assisted therapy is a specific type of therapy that utilizes animals as a form of treatment. Animals can be used to assist people with different types of disabilities. This unique therapy is used to improve human physical, social, emotional and cognitive function.


Therapy dog teams are commonly used for animal-assisted interventions. Therapy dogs and their owner’s work together as a team to improve the lives of the people they are assisting.


Our veterinarians at Assistance Animals Consulting are uniquely qualified to aid in supporting animal-assisted intervention programs. Let us serve as your partners and advocates for the health and welfare of the animals participating in your animal-assisted program.


We want to partner with you to help optimize your animal-assisted intervention program, contact us for more detailed information.

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