Pet Therapy

Walk on Water offers Pet Therapy, also known as animal assisted therapy, through our PATH certified trainers using our miniature horses and chickens.

We accept the Gardiner Scholarship, Staywell Insurance, Families Exploring Down Syndrome (FEDS), and VPK SIS funds

What is Pet Therapy?

Pet therapy is a broad term that includes animal-assisted therapy and other animal-assisted activities. Animal-assisted therapy is a growing field that uses animals to help people recover from or better cope with a variety of health problems and mental health disorders. At Walk on Water, our Pet Therapy sessions involves a guided interaction between a person and a trained animal which includes grooming, petting, and feeding among other activities to allow a bonding experience with the animal. 

The goals of our program are:

  • improving motor skills and joint movement
  • improving assisted or independent movement
  • increasing self esteem
  • increasing verbal communication skills
  • developing social skills
  • increasing willingness to to join in activities
  • improving empathy and nurturing skills

What are the Benefits of Pet Therapy?

Pet Therapy builds on the pre-existing human-animal bond. Pet therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue in people with a range of health problems. The benefits of Pet Therapy include stress reduction by releasing endorphins into the system producing a calming effect. It can reduce anxiety and depression and increase self-esteem and improve social skills. It can also help a person recover from a physical health problem.

Who Can Benefit From Pet Therapy?

Pet Therapy can be beneficial to everyone, particularly: 

  • Children and adults with special needs
  • People receiving cancer treatment
  • People in long-term care facilities
  • People with cardiovascular diseases
  • People with dementia
  • Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • People with anxiety

People with health problems are not the only ones who benefit from pet therapy. Family members and friends who sit in on animal visits say they feel better, too. And our animals here at Walk on Water certainly enjoy the attention too!

Pet therapy is also being used in nonmedical settings, such as universities and community programs, to help people deal with anxiety and stress.