"One of the most fundamental advantages of animal assisted therapy over other therapeutic modalities is that it provides the patient a much-needed opportunity to give affection as well as receive it. It is this reciprocity - rare among medical therapies - that makes AAT a unique, and valuable route to healing."

Dr. Andrew Weil, World-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine

Animal-Assisted Activities/Therapy 101

Animal Assisted Activity/TherapyAnimal-Assisted Activities (AAA) and Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) are the preferred terms used by Pet Partners as they suggest that the animal is the motivating force that enhances treatment provided by a well-trained person.

PLEASE NOTE:The term "pet therapy" should be avoided because it is inaccurate and misleading. This term was widely used several decades ago to refer to animal behavior training programs. Other terms, like "pet-facilitated therapy" and "animal-facilitated therapy" have also been associated with AAA/T.

What is a Therapy Animal?

It is important to understand the difference between service animals, therapy animals, companion animals and "social/therapy" animals. Visit Pet Partners' Service Animal Resources to learn more.

AAA/T at a Glance

For our AAA/T at a Glance handout, please click HERE. Otherwise click the LEARN MORE button below to discover what AAA and AAT are, and the key differences between the two.


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Read an article by Dr. Andrew Weil about the benefits of AAT

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Watch a video how AAT helps stroke patients

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