Our pets are some of the dearest companions in our lives, and looking after them is like looking after your own family. We feed them in time, take them on walks, play with them, cuddle with them. They are often an extension of us, and they stand by us in our hard times. Hence, it is only fair that we give them back as much as we can, especially in their own times of need such as pain and injuries. They feel as much pain as we humans do, often more, and this becomes hard for them because they cannot talk. It is up to us to see how they feel, read their actions, and care for them appropriately. Pet therapy helps them recover efficiently, and is recommended by almost all major vets.
Pet Therapy: The Terminology Confusion
Pet therapy is often confused between two different types of therapy: one where pets are provided with therapy when they are injured physically or mentally. Another is where pets are used as therapy animals for humans who are in physical or mental pain. Both of these sound so same, people often mistake one for another. For the sake of simplification, we must remember that pet therapy means therapy we provide to our own pets, whereas the one where animals help in human therapy can be called as animal therapy, for companion animals is often not pets of humans they help treat, but only provided for therapeutic needs.
How to Handle Personal Pet Therapy
Many pet owners leave their pets in hands of professional animal therapists in such cases, meaning they often miss out on how to personally offer therapy for pets. Now, the type of pet therapy needed really depends on the reason why your pet needs therapy. Is it because of a traumatic accident involving something extreme such as permanent injury? Is it because your pet is recovering from surgery? Is it because your pet has grown too old to be comfortable in normal conditions? The type of therapy required always differs based on these three conditions.
In the case of traumatic incidents, pets need to be handled with extreme care. Just because it did not ever behave wildly before does not mean it will be the same post-injury. Pets, especially dogs and cats often become agitated and aggressive due to extreme fear after encountering a traumatic event. In such cases, therapy should start with professional care from professional vet therapists. After a few instances of treatment, they can be shifted to full-time care under the pet owner with they following strict instructions as mentioned by the pet therapist.
In case of recovery from injuries and surgeries, pets need to be rested enough so that their injuries heal quickly. Pet therapy wraps are available which can be applied to them if the pain gets a bit on the higher side, and those therapy wraps will help keep pain in check. Limit their physical activity, and plan a proper diet that will help them get nutrients faster for quick recovery. It is recommended only to use cold wraps in case of external injuries as hot body wraps can injure the affected area.
In the case of old age, these pets need to be taken as much care as you would take of an injured pet, especially in the case of old dogs and cats. Although they don’t move around often when they are well into old age, they need to be taken care of properly, even more so than a normal pet. Buy them an orthopedic bed so that their tired old joints can get a good night’s sleep. Take them out on short walks to keep their joints and muscles active. Apply frequent hot therapy wraps on joints and weak areas because muscle strain and muscle sprains are common issues in old age. Proper care must be taken not to over-exercise them.
Other Care Instructions
In addition to these, you also need to look after your pets and look into their behaviors and report any strange changes to the doctor, while taking precautions yourself. For example, if your dog has suddenly become aggressive after injury, and started biting random people, using a muzzle to cover their mouth is sadly the only way to temporarily calm their violent nature. If your pet gets sick very frequently or keeps vomiting and has a loss of appetite, you need to immediately show the pet to your vet before conditions worsen. Many times, physical injuries don’t have an immediate side effect, and they only show up after some time. For best results, get a complete checklist of what all you need to do for your pet, from your vet doctor. He/she will offer recommendations, and in case of discrepancies and emergencies, you can take your pet for a checkup again.