Holistic health advocates are increasingly using rabbits in addition to dogs and cats as therapy pets. They find that therapeutic animals provide healing love for patients with illnesses, the elderly and people with mental challenges. Some of these individuals are frightened of dogs and find rabbits to be less intimidating.
A recent article published at hometownlife.com reports that merely watching an animal can calm humans and lower their blood pressure, and stroking their fur is even more therapeutic. Here is what they had to day about rabbits as therapy pets:
The Rabbit Lady
The Foundation for Pet Provided Therapy (FPPT), says that a friendly and docile rabbit can be a great therapy pet. Also, many rabbits are small enough to be “lap size” therapy pets compared to large therapy dogs. Rabbits offer the advantage of being the least threatening in temperament and the most gentle.
I have had the pleasure of knowing a rabbit lover named Nancy for many years. Nancy is a clinical social worker and has cared for and enjoyed the companionship of three therapeutic rabbits throughout her life. She related to me that several factors contribute to good mental health, and that pet therapy and pet ownership are two which belong high on the list.
Nancy, also known as, “The Rabbit Lady,” has asked and answered: “What is it about our furry friends that lights up our lives?” Several studies have delved into this subject and found that unconditional love is generally the prime reason people own pets. Books have been written on the different roles pets play for pet owners, including that of teacher, healer and protector.
Nancy says she believes that rabbits have a special place in the world of therapeutic animals because of their exceptionally mild and non-threatening nature. Therapeutic rabbits can be considered a safe bet when it comes to exposing them to people who are vulnerable or ill. Rabbits are not predators and so they are not inclined to act aggressively.
To read the complete article, please follow this link.
A few weeks ago we reported on the Bunnies in Baskets organization whose volunteers train rabbits to be therapy animals.
It is encouraging to see that there are also others such as Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary and Pet-a-Pet that are doing the same thing – helping humans feel better while simultaneously spreading the word that rabbits can make loving house pets.
Photo courtesy of Bunnies in Baskets