Pet Therapy

children with dog

If you have a child who is struggling, pet therapy for children is a proven therapy treatment that works for a variety of conditions. Your child will likely respond very well to an emotional support animal. Your veterinarian can offer more information about this form of treatment, too.

What is Pet Therapy For Children?

Pet therapy for children is the use of pets to provide emotional support for a child who needs it. Growing up is very tough, even when everything goes “right.” But when extenuating circumstances come into play, such as physical, mental, or emotional disabilities, then children may need more—and different—help than what they can get from their parents or caregivers.

Pet therapy provides that additional resource so that children have a non-judgmental living creature to relate to, confide in, and just spend time with. Pet therapy works in care environments like hospitals, but it also works when the pet is part of a family at home.

What Conditions Pet Therapy Can Help With

Pet therapy has long been used to help with a wide range of conditions, like:

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Pet therapy not only helps the child. Pet therapy can also indirectly help parents and caregivers since having the pet as additional support can feel like having another source of therapy available in the home. When a child is unable to get what they need from an adult, they can turn to the pet for emotional support.

Advantages of Animal-Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy is a method of therapy where companion animals are used to help a person manage health issues and/or the side effects of certain prescription medications. Therapy animals may be visitors to children in hospitals or care facilities, or they may become permanent therapy animals placed in the child’s home, much like a family pet. The benefits of animal-assisted therapy include:

  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Improved heart health
  • Pain reduction
  • Improvement in fine motor skills
  • Improved social engagement
  • Increased exercise/physical activity

If you’re intrigued and excited by the idea of having a pet as therapy for your child, talk to your veterinarian. Your vet can help you to find emotional support animals and ensure that your new pet receives the best veterinarian care as well.

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Ocean Animal Clinic of Santa Cruz

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

The Cat Clinic of Santa Cruz

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "My well loved dog, Bella, was well taken care of with gentleness and excellent care. She is so much healthier after her dental treatment. I highly recommend Dr. Hall and his staff. They truly care and have exceptional communication regarding the recommended and provided care."
    Catherine
  • "Our little dog needed extractions. We found the Ocean Animal Clinic and Dr. Hall. They took fabulous care of him -- even including a nail clipping and ear check. Both the vet and the staff were open and transparent. The surgeon was top notch and the staff really cared about our dog and us. Our little guy bounced back quickly. All this for a lot less money than we feared as well. Highly recommended!"
    Terra
  • "Dr. Hall and the staff at Ocean Animal Clinic are truly unique. Most vets are compassionate but always peddling unnecessary expensive services and drugs. Dr. Hall is compassionate, direct and alternative. He really seems to be in tune with the animals.

    My baby, Harry, is ill and his prognosis is not what a mother wants to hear. But, Dr. Hall was so good with him and also our girl Roxy.

    Just a truly decent, loving Vet. Thank you."
    Jennifer
  • "The Ocean Animal Clinic staff have been caring for my adult turtles since 2011 and I cannot imagine trusting another veterinarian with their care. As a college student he was able to help me find ways to improve the care I provided my pets and his payment options (accepts CareCredit!) helped ensure that my pets received the medical attention they needed on time.

    I consider Ocean Animal Clinic a part of my family and would recommend their services to anyone without hesitation.

    Thank you, OAC!"
    Alejandra