The therapy with animals has been carried out for more than 200 years. If we go back to history, it was in 1792, in England, where they began to be used as assistants in the therapies of people with mental illnesses. After more than seventy years, this kind of sessions spread and they began to do them also with people affected by the epilepsy disease in Germany. Later, the American Red Cross created the Center for Convalescents of the New York Air Force, in which they rehabilitated the aviators with the help of animals, this was the first therapeutic program that was created for them.
Nowadays, there is the term coined as zootherapy, to refer to this type of supplementary treatments, in which the animals are selected, trained and certified to give support in the therapies for affected patients in the social, emotional and cognitive levels. And although there is currently a wide variety of species that are used for this is the dog one of the most popular among all.
Innocence, joy, energy, willingness and lack of prejudice are skills that make the dog the best companion, even when we are sick.
- They help us to socialize and create links with other people
- They increase our self-esteem and autonomy
- They reduce our state of anxiety and depression.
- They help us to carry out activities with them, such as brushing, walking, playing, napping…
But also, more specifically:
- They help improve care
- They accompany, so loneliness is avoided.
- They create positive emotional bonds with people
- They do not judge anyone
- They stimulate leisure and mental activities.
As we see, they bring us brain benefits, contributing to our mental stability and joy, and physical benefits, forcing us to move and exercise with them.