Pediatric Pet Therapy / Animal Assisted Therapy
Temecula Valley Therapy Services is proud to incorporate Animal Assisted Therapy and Pet Therapy as part of our comprehensive therapy services. The term “Pet Therapy” refers to the use of pets to interact with patients with the main goal being socialization. “Animal Assisted Therapy,” or AAT, occurs when animals are used by the licensed therapist in goal directed treatment sessions, as a modality, to facilitate optimal patient outcomes. TVTS is excited to bring both programs to our patients.
Regardless of the type of therapy, all animals involved at TVTS are certified therapy dogs. This certification includes temperament testing, a complete veterinary screening and obedience training before beginning to work with patients. Participation in Pet Therapy or AAT is optional for all patients. Patients who are fearful of animals, dislike animals or demonstrate aggression and physical abuse toward animals would not benefit from or be appropriate to participate in Pet Therapy. All children must have written consent from their parents prior to participation.
Pet Therapy and AAT are known to increase the recovery time and responsiveness of some patients. In a meta-analysis conducted in 2007, AAT resulted in moderate effectiveness in improving outcomes in four areas: Autism-spectrum symptoms, medical difficulties, behavioral problems, and overall emotional well-being. Temecula Valley Therapy Services is pleased to introduce both Pet Therapy and AAT to the Temecula Valley.