Animals have been used to improve hospitalized patients’ mental well-being since the 18th century, and the first articles appeared in the medical literature in the late 1980’s. However, the current day psychiatrist is unprepared for the avalanche of requests for pet therapy that has occurred over the past several years. Navigating the confusing world of pet therapy, animal assisted interventions, service animals, and emotional support animals will assist attendees in understanding the current federal protections and implementing practical guidelines in addressing these requests.
1) Identify the current types of animal therapy.
2) Describe appropriate indications for animal therapy.
3) Recognize ethical and medico-legal risks associated with the intersection of animals and mental health.