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Stress assessment of co-therapist dogs in animal assisted interventions: a review

By L. Ceglia

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Animal assisted intervention (AAI), in their three forms (Animal-Assisted Activities, Animal-Assisted Education and Animal-Assisted Therapy), are activities aimed not only at supporting and integrating traditional therapies, but also at developing a strong link between animal and human beings in non-therapeutic contexts. Despite the benefits of these activities on humans, demonstrated by several studies, it is important not to underestimate the risks for the animals involved, especially dogs. These risks are represented by different types of stress, mostly acute, which, if repeated over time, could lead, in the long- time period, to a burnout syndrome in the animal. The analysis of scientific literature's review of recent years, regarding the various publications on the assessment of stress in the dogs involved in the AAI, has confirmed that it does not seem to be great concerns about the welfare of co-therapists if certain practices are avoided and if considered the various factors (environmental, human and program management) that can influence it. However, for the future, it would be desirable to aim at a further exploration of the canine experience within the AAI, through the use of validated and standardized scientific instruments.

Publication Title Dog Behavior
Volume 7
Issue 2
Pages 39-54
ISBN/ISSN 2421-0684
DOI 10.4454/db.v7i2.140
Language English
Notes Cited Reference Count: many ref.0ItalianEdizioni ETSPisa, Italy
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Analytics
  2. Animal-assisted therapies
  3. Animals
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Canidae
  6. Canine
  7. Carnivores
  8. Dogs
  9. Health care
  10. Humans
  11. Literature reviews
  12. Mammals
  13. Men
  14. Pets and companion animals
  15. Primates
  16. Reviews
  17. vertebrates
  18. Zoology