Sometimes the unsung heroes are ones that don’t speak. Therapy pets are some of the quiet heroes who go to work or school everyday like us adults.
I have come to know one specific therapy pet within our school as a special education teacher. When I first met Brae, I was surprised at how sweet this big fluffy dog was in the school setting.
Brae is a working canine assistant, who helps to provide support and love to a friend of mine. She would come to school and help my friend, who was our Occupational Therapist at the time.
Over time, I realized that so many of the children loved seeing Brae in the school system. She blessed so many students during her time in our school.
What are Therapy Pets?
Most therapy pets are pets who have gone to school and have worked on learning specific behaviors.
A few months ago, I watched this show on Disney+ where they raised Golden Retrievers to be Guide Dogs for the Blind. I was amazed by the trainers and how they were able to teach the dogs “in school” to do specific things to protect their blind owners.
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Dogs are the most common therapy pets within the school system. However, many other animals make good therapy pets within the classroom too. Like…
- Guinea Pigs
Now let’s talk about the benefits of having a therapy pet at school and at home.
6 Amazing Benefits of Therapy Pets
#1 Therapy Animals Help Students to Overcome their Fears
Many students have fears and doubts about themselves. Therapy animals can help students to talk out some of their doubts and fears.
#2 Therapy Animals Help Students to Relieve Stress
Many students are stressed while they are in school. They are overwhelmed by the amount of stress they are experiencing in their lives. In college, I played with puppies during finals week. It was a great way to relieve stress.
#3 Therapy Animals Provide Love and Support to Students and their Owners
My friend’s dog Brae is the sweetest! She is playful, kind, and had so many friends (students) at school. Along with providing help at school, she gives daily love and support to my friend.
Therapy dogs are canines who have learned to do specific things for their owners. For example, my friend’s dog Brae can help pick up something fallen on the floor.
#5 Therapy Animals Help Children with Anxiety
Many children struggle with anxiety in some form and at any age. Therapy animals can help students to relieve some anxiety that the students may have about being at school.
#6 Therapy Animals Improve School Performance
When students are more focused, less stressed, and know they are loved, they perform better at school. As an educator for several years, I have learned that relationships are vital to helping students with disabilities. I have had many students who performed better because they knew that I always supported them.
Additional Therapies to Consider
There are many benefits and blessings to having a therapy pet within the school system and at home. But, not every school has therapy pets due to various reasons.
Here are other therapies you may want to check into as well.
- 4 Special Education Therapy Options
- Art Therapy for Children with Special Needs
- Music Therapy for Children with Special Needs
- How to Meet a Child’s Sensory Needs at Home
We look forward to hearing which therapies your child has benefitted from at school or at home. Just comment below.
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