Pet Therapy can be very useful to overcome many phobias and calm adults and children in stressful situations.

The Archipet association of Genoa has shown how this is true by carrying out two interesting projects.

The first took place at the Cristoforo Colombo Airport in Genoa where the presence of four-legged was available to passengers fearful of flying trying to reduce their anxiety. The initiative has been a great success and many passengers were able to board much more tranquil than in past.

The second extraordinary initiative has as protagonists mainly the children and a natural fear for them, the dentist.

The odontophobia is a reality recognized by the World Health Organization and can affect up to the 20% of the children that need dental care.Some children are so frightened to do not allow the doctor to look in their mouth and this creates negative repercussions on their health. The project has as protagonist the dog Lea, a three-year-old Golden Retriever, who welcomed the young patients in the waiting room of the dentist and allowed herself to be stroked by them. The results were excellent and immediately evident to both the health staff and parents: the children seemed more calm and cooperative, making possible visits and dental care.

Lea, already well trained, however, has been prepared for the new experience: a few days before the experiment she has been taken to the dental practice so to get used to noises and smells. To avoid the overloading of the animal, also, it has been put a limit to its daily work: not more than an hour. It is therefore very clear that the project takes in consideration the well-being of the children and of the animals, so to optimize the results and minimize the stress on both sides.

The project is also valid from the hygienic point of view: some similar experiments carried out by the Meyer Pediatric Hospital of Florence and Grosseto have shown that there is no danger of infections. And if this experiment is scheduled on Friday’s it’s easier to sanitize the surgery during the weekend break.

As told so far demonstrates the undisputed efficacy of Pet therapy.
This new therapy, that has not only dogs as protagonists, but even cats, horses, ferrets, can be used both in patients affected by diseases (autism, anorexia, bulimia) both in people with phobias or uncooperative, with the aim to reduce their anxiety and help them to deal with all those situations that generate fears.

We hope that in future it will be possible to make the most from this great potential, with the dual aim to help the well-being of people and bring them closer to the fantastic world of the four-legged.