- Other Services
- Pet Application
- Previous Work
It’s not just interactions with puppies and kittens that can help reduce stress. Pet therapy events using farm animals like sheep and alpacas are just as effective and even more memorable! Farm animal therapy is fast becoming the coolest and most unique way to relax during life’s most stressful periods.
Here’s what it’s all about.
Pet therapy animals should not be confused with assistance animals, which are trained to help those who need consistent help and specific care such as the blind, deaf, and autistic. They should also not be confused with mental support dogs, which is another group of working animals that support a single person to help them deal with mental health issues like PTSD.
Therapy animals are used to relieve short-term stress and improve our mood. You may think that farm animals are employed solely for their ‘cute factor’, but using young animals actually gives them invaluable life experience. These therapy animals are not trained and are simply there to be stroked and played with.
Our animals brighten the days of our clients, who are encouraged to cuddle, stroke, and play with them. However, interacting with farm animals isn’t just fun, it also offers some surprisingly effective health benefits.
Interacting with therapy animals has been proven to reduce blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health in addition to producing calming endorphins that improve mood. This is achieved through stroking sessions. Stroking an animal focuses our attention and creates a calming effect similar to the feeling we get from meditation. Being around animals may also produce oxytocin, the chemical associated with being in love.
Here is what medical journal The News in Health says about how interactions with pets can improve your health;
‘Interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure. Other studies have found that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.’
Productivity at work can also be improved through animal therapy. A report by Mind found that 1 in 4 people in the UK suffer from a mental health issue at some point in their lives, while a study by The Mental Health Foundation found that addressing mental health in the workplace can see productivity increase by up to 12%. Offering employees (particularly those in high-intensity roles) the opportunity to reduce stress through animal interactions can be highly beneficial.
But what about the animals themselves? You’ll be pleased to know that therapy visits are actually beneficial, as they help to them learn valuable socialisation techniques and get them acquainted with people from a young age.
A good question! You may have seen our puppy and kitten therapy service and wondered why we felt the need to expand into the world of farm animals. The simple answer is variety and the desire to create a unique experience for our customers.
Puppies and kittens are some of the most beautiful creatures on Earth, but chances are you already have the ability to interact with dogs and cats in your day-to-day life. Chilling out with an alpaca or stroking a sheep is a truly memorable experience that few are able to enjoy. It also offers the same potential health benefits as puppy and kitten therapy, so it’s a win-win situation.
When was the last time you can recall your office bringing in an alpaca for you to stroke? What an unforgettable way to reduce stress!
We have many farm animals available as therapy pets that can be brought into a variety of settings, from workplaces, to schools, to private parties. High-stress environments like offices often find farm animal therapy to be particularly beneficial, though we’ve also seen private ‘puppy parties’ help calm stressed out students at times where anxiety is at its peak. We’re certain these students would benefit from a good sheep stroking too!
Urban Paws UK provides farm animals for a set period of time in which clients are allowed to stroke, pet, and play with them in any way they wish. There will always be a trained professional on site to ensure that appropriate animal care is enforced and children must be supervised.
Get in touch to find out all about our farm animal therapy service and how we can provide mental relief. Our clients always come out of an animal therapy party feeling refreshed, calm, and revitalised.
Farm animals not for you? Check out our puppy and kitten therapy page instead.