Dogs to the Rescue!
The use of animal-assisted interventions in health-care settings is an evidence-based practice. There are two types of animal-assisted interventions used in health-care settings: animal-assisted therapy (AAT) and animal-assisted activities (AAA). AAT is a goal-oriented, therapeutic intervention that involves animals, with the goal of enhancing overall health and well-being of patients, and is facilitated by health, education, or service professionals with formal training in the field. Conversely, AAA provide informal interactions for educational and/or motivational purposes. AAT typically requires the facilitator to have an active license or degree, whereas AAA does not require formal licensure. Although research has examined the use of various animals, dogs have consistently been shown to be more effective in animal-assisted interventions when compared with other animals (eg, horses, aquatic animals).
Dog-assisted therapy (DAT) is an effective practice primarily in aging populations, pediatric care, and pain reduction.
DAT is also an effective intervention among children with which of the following?
DAT is not helpful for pain reduction in general health-care settings.
Dental professionals thinking about implementing animal-assisted interventions should consider creating guidelines before moving ahead with AAT.
Finding a dog breed that is hypoallergenic is most suitable for health-care settings.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified evidence to suggest that animals pose more risk for transmitting infection than people.
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