When you think about animals helping people, no doubt the most prominent image that pops into your head is of a visually impaired person with a guide dog. But there are many more ways in which pets provide vital assistance.
Did you know that some pets are trained to help the hearing impaired, too? Others bring therapeutic comfort to sick hospital patients. Here are our top ten pet assistant job picks …
10. Facility Dogs
Imagine being bedridden in a hospital or a long-term care facility. The more isolated people feel, the longer it may take for them to recover or respond to treatment. For Better Independence Assistance Dogs trains canines to visit people in facilities such as hospices and hospitals. The clear benefits of therapeutic animal visits have been the focus of medical studies, the results of which were published in the Journal for Gerontology: Medical Sciences in July 2002.
9. Skilled Companion Dogs
The human animal bond is so strong that the quality of life for those who are isolated or socially challenged is indelibly improved by the presence of a companion pet. Skilled companion dogs are specially trained pets that provide therapeutic affection while assisting in mobility tasks where necessary. Canine Companions for Independence includes people affected by autism, Down’s syndrome, and cerebral palsy, all of whom have found themselves the beneficiaries of skilled canine companionship.
8. Therapeutic Companion Dogs
Therapy dogs differ from service dogs in that they provide comfort and companionship to people with disabilities, or those hindered by illness. Therapy dogs are usually part of a volunteer program that is made up of naturally good-tempered, docile, and friendly house pets. Unlike service dogs that have had specialized training, therapy dogs are not professionally trained; but they are often tested and accredited for therapy.
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