View Full Version : Does anyone have a pet for therapeutic purposes?

08-07-14, 11:26 AM
Hi All,

I'm considering getting a small animal for therapeutic purposes (no cats or dogs, sadly..). Has anyone tried this approach before? If I have something to take care of I will feel more well-grounded, which will help me with my concentration and memory issues.

Has anyone tried this and been successful? Also, have you ever gone to a P-Doc to get an "animal prescription"? I know that doctors give them out for depression, anxiety, and such.

Thanks for your comments :)


Just so all of you don't think I'm going to kill my pet because I don't pay attention... (:P) I know that having forced structure helps me. An animal happens to be that! :)

08-07-14, 12:19 PM
I have a cat. I would say its a bit therapeutic. The therapy part is having an animal companion. I doubt a small animal would do much. Dogs/cats are smart and do fun things which make us all laugh, just look at youtube. No matter what I do the cat is always happy to great me at the door. I cant imagine say a hamster would be anything fun. That is only my opinion.

08-07-14, 12:21 PM
Rats are pretty intelligent, so I would probably go with something like that. My wife won't let me get a larger animal. I think she would go as far as letting me get a guinea pig.

08-07-14, 01:17 PM
One of my dogs is listed as a therapeutic pet... but truthfully, all of mine provide me with grounding. It drives DH up the wall because it limits what we're able to do, but I'm fairly certain I'd live in a constant tailspin without them.

08-07-14, 01:25 PM
Would you plan to take the animal with you when you go out?

Or does the place you live have a prohibition on pets?

Is there some tax-advantaged status for service animals, such that you could deduct veterinary / feeding expenses?

If not, you could just get a small animal without needing a doctor to attest to its therapeutic value -- even if you are getting it to help structure your day / ground you / etc.

(I'm assuming you've already thought of that, but it wasn't clear from your original post why it needed to be certified as a therapeutic animal. Could you clarify?)

I had a hamster when I was a teenager. Adorable little fellow. Required lots of cage-cleaning. But that'll be true of any animal. Are you thinking mammals only, or possibly something like a lizard or turtle?

08-07-14, 01:35 PM
I apologize Namazu, thanks for asking the questions.

Currently I am fine where I am living, but I will be moving in a year or so and will need a doc's note.

08-07-14, 01:48 PM
Rats are awesome and super intelligent, I highly recommend getting a pair. I was about to get a couple (since Rats are very social creatures), but my parents didnt let me.
For now I have two cats as my therapeutic animals.

08-07-14, 09:21 PM
yes, my dog is a certified companion animal through the city/county animal care and control where i live.

he is also amazing. best to you x

08-07-14, 09:51 PM
Worked with a girl that had a therapy dog that she traveled with because she had muscle control issues and anxiety. The connection they had was amazing.

For me, I had a cat that could sense my mood while things were really bad. She would come around right before a crash and I often cried holding her and she didn't seem to mind. Losing her was like losing my right arm.

I have several animals and don't know how I could live without them around. Nothing like being loved unconditionally, where someone is just so happy to see you walk through the door and grateful for everything you do :) I would highly recommend an animal for therapy.

miss anarchy
08-07-14, 10:12 PM
I have 1 dog, 1 cat, 1 lorikeet (bird), 1 fish and way to many snakes :p .
I get a ridiculous amount of joy , pride and just general satisfaction from my pets and could never live without animals in my life.
Childeren and animals are special, they both have such a pure innocence about them.
They give trust and love fully and unconditionally, nothing on earth is more therapeutic then feeling loved :).

08-11-14, 12:25 PM
Just got a CUTE 6 week old guinea pig. It is very fulfilling to see the development of the animal so quickly. I'm waking up earlier and making sure that I get the tasks done so that he is comfortable. It seems to be working so far.

08-11-14, 01:51 PM
You know you're obligated to post photos now, right? :D

Glad you and g-piggy are off to a good start together.

08-12-14, 03:08 AM
Love dogs - mine sick though.

Beginning to worry that all dogs (like human beings) NEED to be fed biologically appropriate raw food - BARF.

My dog switches from allergy to IBS based on food - she's about to go pure BARF now though.

Think that BARF for man may just be a mound of real fresh organic vegetables (raw vegan).

08-12-14, 03:11 AM

Sounds like one of them there new fangled American rap stars who drives with his and his female friend's drop top down.

09-13-16, 04:11 PM
I have a dog that takes care of me and trains me very well.

She used to get very vocal when she wanted food. It was usually about the same time of day. And eventually, she got me so well trained that she doesn't even need to tell me anymore! ...Well... most of the time anyway.

She's also made me go for walks much better. When she used to take me for walks, I would get distractable and go this way or that way and never take a consistent route and I would stop when I saw or heard any animal. But now, she's gotten me to point where I follow without much stopping or wandering at all.

She's been so wonderful :)