Rabbits are warm, fuzzy animals just like the cartoons and children stories we grew up listening to tell us. They range in color from snow white to the darkest shade of black. Their color does not change their character in any way. They are not able to quickly adapt to new surroundings but given time, they tend to make the best of it. It is their cuddly and calm nature that makes them the perfect candidates for Animal Assisted Therapy, which gives them the name Therapy Rabbits.
For many years, children’s hospitals and psychiatric hospitals have used more subtle methods than medication and rest to handle various medical cases. It is said that people who own pets like dogs and cats among others have lower heart rates, less stress and less chances of contracting heart or stress related diseases. This is because cuddling or stroking a pet tends to relax the body and mind. It is for this reason that the Animal Assisted Therapy program was started. Rabbits are perfect for children and those suffering from some psychological cases. This is because their meek nature helps to soothe the patients thus helping them to deal with their situations.
These therapy rabbits are also used to treat behavioral disorders. These include withdrawal syndromes among others, commonly found in children with dark or unloved pasts. Rabbits and other pets have been used to bring them out of their shell because they will start talking to the animal or about the animal and soon enough, they are on their way to recovery.
Not just any rabbit can be used in the AAT program. They have to be well-trained and licensed by the relevant authorities. Rabbits can be very warm towards the owner at home but can get agitated when suddenly taken to a place full of people or a new environment. It is important that they take the stress tests with these therapy groups before they can be cleared to assist in therapy sessions. In the case of an Israeli children’s hospital, a paralyzed therapy rabbit has helped with the rehabilitation of sick toddlers because of its situation and how some relate to it.
Animal therapy goes to show that even the simplest methods can go a long way in promoting human wellness.