Pet Therapy

Course CodeBPS221
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Study Pet Therapy Online - Understand the fundamentals of Pet Therapy

Pet therapy is based on an old concept, that animals are comforting and caring companions.  Pets tend to be a friendly and non-threating part of many homes. Many children and adults will develop emotional connections with their pets. Pets are non-judgemental and provide affection on demand. They can help to reduce stress and stimulate social interaction. They can be fun and amusing, and they ask for little in return. 

This course will help you understand the fundamentals of pet therapy and what you would do when starting out your own pet therapy business or service.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Pet Therapy
    • Introduction to Pet Therapy
    • Animal and Human Relationships
    • Animal Assisted Therapy
    • Animal Assisted Activities
    • Animals Used in Pet Therapy
    • Scientific Research Supporting Pet Therapy
    • Tension and Stress
    • Depression and Anxiety
    • Touch, Affection and Companionship
    • Immune System Response and Pain Control
    • Cancer Patients, Palliative Care and Heart Disease
    • Healthier Lifestyles, Structure and Routine
    • Benefits for Older People
    • Pet Therapy and Children
    • Negative Effects of Pet Therapy on People
    • Negative Impacts on Pets and Animals
    • Cultural Differences
  2. Mental Health and Physical Assistance
    • Pet Therapy Research and Mental Health Conditions Introduction
    • Agitation and Cognitive Impairments
    • Depression
    • Schizophrenia
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    • Stress
    • Human-Animal Interactions
    • Bonding
    • Warning and Protection
    • Transport and Carriage
    • Working Animals
  3. Working with animals
    • Introduction to working animals.
    • Factors for Consideration
    • Human Safety
    • Client Possessive Behaviour and Bonding
    • Animal Health and Welfare
    • Animal Behaviour
    • Resources and Legalities
    • Animal Species
    • Large, Medium and Small Animals
    • Suitability to the Client
    • Therapy Settings
    • Preparing Clients and Animals for a Session
  4. Applications for people with mental health conditions
    • Mental Health Conditions
    • Mood Disorders
    • Anxiety
    • Social Phobias
    • Depression
    • Developmental Disorders
    • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Autism Assistance Dogs
    • The Stress Response
    • Panic Attacks
    • Other Animal Contributions to Mental Wellbeing (Pleasure, Motivation and Exercise)
  5. Applications for people with disabilities
    • Benefits of a Pet Therapy Program for People with Disabilities
    • Service Assistance Animals
    • Guide Dogs
    • Hearing Dogs
    • Seizure Alert Dogs
    • Diabetic Alert Dogs
    • Allergy Detection Dogs
    • Mobility Assistance Dogs
    • Physiotherapy Assistance Dogs
    • Pet Therapy Dogs Summary
  6. Applications for Children
    • Pet Therapy and Children Introduction
    • Difficulties of Pet Therapy with Children
    • Developing Empathy
    • The Benefits of Pet Therapy for Children
    • Children with ADHD
    • Children with Autism
  7. Applications for Older People
    • Introduction
    • Specific Applications of Therapy for Elderly
    • Grief and Loss
    • Physical Activity
    • Stress, Blood Pressure and Anxiety
    • Cardiovascular Disease
    • When The Owner Can No Longer Care for the Animal
  8. Establishing a Pet Therapy Service
    • Pet Therapy as a Business
    • Planning Your Pet Therapy Service
    • Which Animal is Most Suitable
    • Client Group
    • Timeline
    • Marketing Your Services
    • Data Protection and Privacy
    • Veterinarians
    • Other Services
    • Free or Paid For Services
    • Insurance
    • Business Plan
    • Buying an Existing Business
    • Animal Welfare Considerations
    • Remaining Competitive


  • Explain the nature of pet therapy and determine where it may be used as a therapeutic tool.
  • Explain how pets can contribute to a person’s wellbeing as a companion or working animal.
  • Determine how to work with animals effectively and appropriately in a therapeutic situation.
  • Discuss ways in which pet therapy can be used for people with psychological conditions.
  • Discuss ways in which pet therapy can be used for people with physical disabilities.
  • Discuss ways in which pet therapy can be used for children of different ages and circumstances.
  • Discuss ways in which pet therapy can be used for older people in different circumstances.
  • Plan the establishment and operation of a pet therapy service.

What You Will Do

  • Explore the positive and negative effects pet ownership has on health.
  • Find out about local animal assistance therapies or groups available in your local area.
  • Gather information on the range of animal therapies which are used specifically in mental health care support.
  • Observe a therapy session taking place.
  • Research different ways that animals can benefit our health.
  • Watch a dog being trained for therapy work.
  • Using personal experiences, or those of someone you know, consider how animals can improve mental health.
  • Investigate how a specific mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety or PTSD can benefit from pet therapy
  • Talk to someone who has made use of pet therapy for physical disabilities and research how pet therapy is carried out, including how it benefits the person.
  • Carry out research into pet therapy with older people. Talk to an older person or several older people who have experienced pet therapy and ask them to share their experiences.
  • Prepare a plan for establishing a pet therapy service.
  • Find out about the use of therapy assistance pets and animals in schools and education settings.

Who Should Study This Course?

This course is suitable for anyone who loves animals and would like to support people to improve their mental health.  This could be people who work with animals currently, or people working with humans currently.  It is really open to anyone who would like to study pet therapy.


Why Study This Course?

Study this course -

  • To understand the principles and techniques of pet therapy
  • To learn more about what clients would benefit from pet therapy
  • To improve your own job and career prospects working with animals or humans.
  • To set up your own business in pet therapy or to expand an existing business

This course is studied online or by e-learning, so you can study at a location to suit you.

It is also self-paced, so you study when suits you.


Any Questions?

Please click here to contact a tutor or Request a course handbook here.


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