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Pets are a Powerful Therapeutic Tool

Course Code: BBS221 | Nominal Course Duration: 100 hours

Learn how pets can enrich lives in therapies and many different ways. 

Understand how pets can be used to improve people’s mental and physical health. This is such an important topic in a world where stress, loneliness and anxiety affects so many of us. 

Pets have been known to teach responsibility, compassion and in some cases, appropriate social interactions. With a wide variety of suggested learning tasks, you can apply what you learn.

This course is ideal if you:

  • establish your own pet therapy business,
  • provide support to loved ones or those in need,
  • take your pet to work in a community or care setting to help others, 
  • be involved in pet assistance/pet therapy coordination in your current role, 
  • you might add pet therapy into a counselling services, 
  • if you're looking for more than handbook or guide - you want authentic learning.


What's Covered in this Course?

There are eight lessons in this course. 

1. Scope and Nature of Pet Therapy

  • Introduction to Pet Therapy
  • Animal and Human Relationships
  • Animal Assisted Therapy
  • Animal Assisted Activities
  • Animals Used in Pet Therapy
  • Scientific Research Supporting Pet Therapy
  • Tension and Stress
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Touch, Affection and Companionship
  • Immune System Response and Pain Control
  • Cancer Patients, Palliative Care and Heart Disease
  • Healthier Lifestyles, Structure and Routine
  • Benefits for Older People
  • Pet Therapy and Children
  • Negative Effects of Pet Therapy on People
  • Negative Impacts on Pets and Animals
  • Cultural Differences

2. Mental Health and Physical Assistance

  • Pet Therapy Research and Mental Health Conditions Introduction
  • Agitation and Cognitive Impairments
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Stress
  • Human-Animal Interactions
  • Bonding
  • Warning and Protection
  • Transport and Carriage
  • Working Animals

3. Working with animals

  • Introduction to working animals.
  • Factors for Consideration
  • Human Safety
  • Client Possessive Behaviour and Bonding
  • Animal Health and Welfare
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Resources and Legalities
  • Animal Species
  • Large, Medium and Small Animals
  • Suitability to the Client
  • Therapy Settings
  • Preparing Clients and Animals for a Session

4. Applications for people with mental health conditions

  • Mental Health Conditions
  • Mood Disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Social Phobias
  • Depression
  • Developmental Disorders
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Autism Assistance Dogs
  • The Stress Response
  • Panic Attacks
  • Other Animal Contributions to Mental Wellbeing (Pleasure, Motivation and Exercise)

5. Applications for people with disabilities

  • Benefits of a Pet Therapy Program for People with Disabilities
  • Service Assistance Animals
  • Guide Dogs
  • Hearing Dogs
  • Seizure Alert Dogs
  • Diabetic Alert Dogs
  • Allergy Detection Dogs
  • Mobility Assistance Dogs
  • Physiotherapy Assistance Dogs
  • Pet Therapy Dogs Summary

6. Applications for Children

  • Pet Therapy and Children Introduction
  • Difficulties of Pet Therapy with Children
  • Developing Empathy
  • The Benefits of Pet Therapy for Children
  • Children with ADHD
  • Children with Autism

7. Applications for Older People

  • Introduction
  • Specific Applications of Therapy for Elderly
  • Grief and Loss
  • Physical Activity
  • Stress, Blood Pressure and Anxiety
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • When The Owner Can No Longer Care for the Animal

8. Establishing a Pet Therapy Service

  • Pet Therapy as a Business
  • Planning Your Pet Therapy Service
  • Which Animal is Most Suitable
  • Client Group
  • Timeline
  • Marketing Your Services
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Veterinarians
  • Other Services
  • Free or Paid For Services
  • Insurance
  • Business Plan
  • Buying an Existing Business
  • Animal Welfare Considerations
  • Remaining Competitive

What you will learn!

  • Explain the nature of pet therapy and determine where it may be used as a therapeutic tool.
  • Explain how pets can contribute to a person’s wellbeing as a companion or working animal.
  • Determine how to work with animals effectively and appropriately in a therapeutic situation.
  • Discuss ways in which pet therapy can be used for people with psychological conditions.
  • Discuss ways in which pet therapy can be used for people with physical disabilities
  • Discuss ways in which pet therapy can be used for children of different ages and circumstances.
  • Discuss ways in which pet therapy can be used for older people in different circumstances.
  • Plan the establishment and operation of a pet therapy service.


A Practical Approach to Learning

This course is more than just theory. Learning about "animal assisted therapy" requires needs practical experience to apply to theory. Pet therapy students can start to achieve this through tasks and activities built into the course.

We also encourage connection with industry.

If you love animals and want a career helping others, there's now a way for you to combine both. You need skills in handling animals and you need compassion and empathy in working with people who might be struggling emotionally, psychologically or socially.  

Peek at some tasks within the course here… 

  • Find out about local animal assistance therapies or groups available in your local area and gather information on the range of animal therapies which are used specifically in mental health care support.
  • Observe a therapy session taking place and watch a dog being trained for therapy work. 
  • Investigate how a specific mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety or PTSD can benefit from pet therapy
  • Talk to someone who has made use of pet therapy for physical disabilities and research how pet therapy is carried out, including how it benefits the person.
  • Carry out research into pet therapy with older people. Talk to an older person or several older people who have experienced pet therapy and ask them to share their experiences.
  • Prepare a plan for establishing a pet therapy service.
  • Find out about the use of therapy assistance pets and animals in schools and education settings.
Graduates finish this course with understanding and appreciation of how to care properly for animal assistance therapy animals. They pass that knowledge to others through business or industry connections. 

What Next?

To be successful in pet therapy, you need more than passion. You need persistence and a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed. You also need skills.  If this describes you, we can help you to get a start in this industry. 

Current employment opportunities or other opportunities for pet therapists exist in

  • Schools
  • Exams
  • Hospitals
  • Universities
  • Palliative care
  • Dog handler
  • Mental health support
  • Youth worker
  • Drug and addiction support worker
  • Retail assistant
  • Kennel attendant
  • Dog walker
  • Doggy day-care attendant
  • Animal breeder
  • Foster carer 
Still undecided.... Talk with us today.

We have a friendly team dedicated to the industry and to our students. We can answer questions and help you to solidify your plans. 

Email us admin@acs.edu.au | Call us 07 5562 1800 

Make a difference for people who need emotional, service and therapy support, and help others struggling with a variety of disorders.

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Pet Therapy Pet Therapy
$781.66 In stock