Photo Credit : Valerie MG

Pet Assisted Therapy (PAT) is being recognized more and more around the world for the positive impact it can have in the lives of many people – from children and the elderly, to people with disabilities.

Photo Credit : Valerie MG

Pet Assisted Therapy is the use of suitable animals to assist and help people improve the quality of their physical and emotional wellbeing, in areas such as:
·      chronic illness & disability
·      depression
·      role reversal & negative dependency
·      loneliness & isolation
·      helplessness & hopelessness
·      low self esteem
·      absence of humour

Medical research has shown that interaction with therapy dogs can:
·     lower blood pressure
·     reduce stress
·     decrease anxiety and depression
·     lessen the feelings of loneliness and isolation
·     increase the attention span of children with learning difficulties (e.g. autism. attention
deficit disorder)
·     help develop independence, confidence & mobility
·     lower pain caused by debilitating illnesses through increased endorphin flow (endorphins
are natural painkillers released by the brain)
·     facilitate socialization and acceptance between people

Photo credit: Sherlyn Goh
Photo credit: Sherlyn Goh

The types of therapy available:
1.    AAA (Animal Assisted Activity) refers to the casual “meet-and-greet” activities that
involve pets visiting people. The same activities can be repeated with many people,
unlike those in therapy programmes that are tailored to a particular person or medical
2.    AAT (Animal Assisted Therapy) is a programme in which a particular animal is chosen
for sessions tailored to a particular person. AAT usually is implemented by a human
service professional such as an OT, physiotherapy, psychologist or physician. There are
specific goals for each client and the progress of each client is carefully charted.

Our activities cover:
1.    Cognitive / communication / socialisation therapy
a.    Talking about the past to stimulate memory
b.    Providing stimulation, conversation and companionship
c.    Encouraging clients to remember the names of the dogs and to talk about themselves
d.    Dressing up the therapy dog
e.    Using flash cards
f.     Playing memory card games

Photo credit: Lee Siew Yian
Photo Credit : Valerie MG

2.     Motor / physical / sensory  therapy
a.    Throwing a dumbbell or ball for a therapy dog to retrieve
b.     Swing one’s arm with a toy for a therapy dog
c.     Reaching to touch a therapy dog
d.     Bending from a sitting position to pet a therapy dog placed at one’s feet
e.     Tying a bandanna on a dog
f.      Feeding treat to a therapy dog
g.     Walking exercises by walking a therapy dog
h.     Agility exercises by walking in between weave poles
i.      Shaking hands with a therapy dog
j.      Brushing and grooming a therapy dog