Therapy animals, also known as emotional support animals, can help improve a patient’s social, emotional, and mental function. Individuals often find comfort in these animals when they are unable to find comfort in anything or anyone else.
Dogs are commonly used as therapy animals because they are easy to train and have great instincts about themselves and their owners. Other animals can be used, but there are specific qualifications that a therapy animal must meet. First and most importantly is that they must be registered. They have to be well tempered, cannot shed excessively, have to be well socialized and exposed to a plethora of environments, and should love to cheer others up. Animals that you are not likely to think of as therapy animals but actually make for great companions are chickens.
Chickens are useful in yards and gardens because of their intelligence, but they also have a sense of emotional and social connection when interacting with humans. They can help individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, autism, hypertension, dementia, and even generalized stress. They have to go through a series of trainings and evaluations when being screened. MostpeoplefindSilikies, a special breed, appealing because Silkies are fuzzy, small, and resemble kittens, so they do not seem unfamiliar. They are also unable to fly because they do not have flight feathers, but they have also been raised to be pets.
Chickens are especially great therapy animals for senior citizens because they help reduce loneliness, assist them in staying calm, keep them rested, and help them feel settled. These chickens, or hens, help to combat loneliness and isolation. Isolation usually occurs more so in elderly males rather than females. Elderly men tend to isolate themselves and avoid social scenes and engaging activities, whereas elderly women are more likely to socialize. Hens have helped men to increase their sense of well-being.
Animals can be a great asset when it comes down to changing the lives of individuals who feel there is nothing to live for or who feel as though they are alone in the world. They give love, attention, and protection to their owners and those who care for them.
Written by: Hillary Griffin