Animal Assisted Therapy


  • Specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Internal Med.

Hi everyone! Just a question that I am hoping someone can help me answer.

What role do nurses play in animal assisted therapy (pet therapy)?

Just like any other area I am thinking they play a supportive role. Meaning, that they are there to support the patient and provide them with empathy and concern to help them get better.

Can anyone offer any other roles that nurses play with regards to this?

Thank you in advance.



7,735 Posts

Specializes in retired LTC.

LTC places I've been have had pet therapy programs. But they're directed by the Activities Dept. Nursing has very little free time to do much except to smile and nod. M-A-Y-B-E there might be a patting of the pet but that's about it. And then we hope & pray that the pet doesn't bite the pt. You all know the prayer "Lord, not on my time". :yes:

Pts do like the pets.


14,633 Posts

In my experience (in acute care), the nurses have no role or involvement beyond being aware that the animal and handler are on the unit.

In my current job, one of my colleagues on our service also volunteers in our medical center as a pet therapist with her dog, so, obviously, she is significantly involved but not in her role as an RN (psych CNS, actually).