Our pets are our best friends and our companions who love us unconditionally. For some of us, our pets are even our biggest source of support. Pet Partners is an organization that has witnessed first hand, the many positive effects a therapy animal can have on people. If you think a therapy dog is right for you, then read on to learn about how Pet Partners can help you!
The Power of the Human-Animal Bond: Who is Pet Partners?
Pet Partners is a group offering a therapy animal training program, educating the public about therapy animals and regulating a high standard of well-trained animals. Whether you want to make your pet or your emotional support animal a therapy animal, Pet Partners can help!
Pet Partners was founded initially as the Delta Foundation by a group of veterinarians and psychiatrists, motivated by a shared belief that pets have a positive impact on their owners’ happiness and health.
Their then-president, Leo K. Bustad was highly credited for introducing the term “human-animal bond” which symbolizes the mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between humans and animals influenced by behaviors essential to health and wellbeing. The Delta Foundation contributed to the education and support of the importance of the human-animal bond.
They then created the Pet Partners program initiative as the first comprehensive, standardized training in animal-assisted activities and therapy.
Therapy Dogs, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) and Service Dogs: Is There a Difference?
By now you may be a little confused; is there a difference between service dogs, therapy dogs, and emotional support dogs?
Yes, there is! Apart from the different jobs these dogs have, they also have different legal protection!
An emotional support dog is a pet that helps alleviate symptoms of an emotional or mental disability through companionship and affection.
There are numerous testimonies of emotional support animals improving the quality of their humans’ lives immensely and helping them manage their illnesses through daily life mental or emotional conditions.
Where ESAs generally only help their owners or the people in their home. Therapy animals work together with their handlers to help and work with people in a more public setting. ESAs do not need any specific training, but because therapy animals interact with the public in places like schools, hospitals, and nursing homes, they do need to have a certain standard of training!
If you train your ESA up a little they could make a wonderful therapy dog! Luckily these two are not mutually exclusive!
Service animals are animals (mostly dogs) that have received extensive training to perform specific tasks for a person with a disability. A good example of a service dog is a seeing-eye dog who is the eyes of someone with a visual impairment.
Numerous communities and associations such as Pet Partners dedicate themselves to offering therapy animal programmes and providing knowledge about therapy animals to help others. We are here to help you learn more about this particular association, Pet Partners, to better understand the benefits of therapy animals and if you are interested in the therapy animal program.
What are 5 Benefits of Therapy Animals as Pet Helpers?
- Improvements in pain, mental wellbeing, and anxiety: Therapy animals have proven in several studies to have a reductive effect on pain levels and improvements in patients’ moods.
- Source of motivation: Therapy animals in pediatric cancer studies improved motivation to participate in the treatment protocol, to maintain their motivation over time, and to want to “get better” or stay optimistic!
- Reduction of certain disease risks (i.e. cardiovascular disease etc): Pet ownership, perhaps by providing social support, lowers blood pressure response to mental stress.
- Helps improve focus and attention: Providing an avenue as a distraction and a responsibility can motivate owners to better channel their focus and efforts.
- Active stimulation: Providing frequent mental stimulation, socialization, and tasks for your animal can be beneficial in preventing boredom and destructive behaviors!
Top 2 Most popular Therapy Animals!
- Dogs – They make up 94% of therapy animals certified by Pet Partners!
- Cats – Can be more difficult to train but are suitable for patients who are afraid of dogs!
Pet Partners as Pet Comfort Providers: Should you Volunteer with them?
Pet Partners is an established association that provides a well rounded, standardized training program for people needing therapy animals.
They have been around for 41 years and make approximately three million visits a year!
They provide a transparent, informative section on their website about their affiliates, partners and current policies and finances available to the public. Also, they have been cited and reported on in several reliable news outlets including The New York Times, Veterinary Practice News and more.
It is also superb that they have an extensive library of valuable information available on their website to educate anyone interested in therapy animals. The broad range of information provided on their website promotes continuing education and ranges from free video webinars to courses and useful articles.
Pet Partners is also the only therapy animal organization to have courses endorsed by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. They are definitely a recommended provider and a reliable organization for pet therapy training.
Pet Partners Therapy Dog Certification – How does it work?
Volunteers can sign-up and register easily on their website, after which volunteers will undergo a Pet Partners Handler course for volunteers to learn the responsibilities and expectations as a Pet Partners handler.
The Pet Partners healthy animal screening form must then be approved by a veterinarian ensuring the animal is in good health. A team evaluation is then carried out as a final test to ensure the duo is able to safely and effectively carry out therapy visits successfully.
Volunteers are now ready to complete the volunteer agreement, receive comprehensive insurance coverage provided by Pet Partners and can access perks such as access to online courses for free or at discounted prices.
Getting an Emotional Support Animal with CertaPets’ Help!
CertaPet’s aim is to make it easier for people suffering from mental or emotional conditions, to get their ESA letter. When life is rough, even the smallest of tasks can seem impossible to achieve. Luckily, getting your ESA letter does not have to one of those stressful things!
If you are wondering whether you qualify for an ESA, simply take CertaPet’s free online 5-minute pre-screening! If your answers indicate that you qualify for an ESA, we will connect you with a licensed mental health professional in your state! You could have your ESA letter in as little as 48 hrs!
Help Your Pet, Help Yourself
Whether you want to train your pet or your ESA to be a therapy animal, just know that it is a very noble cause. Therapy animals are superheroes within their communities! Why not join the club and spread some joy and happiness!