Animal Assisted Therapy and Trauma Survivors

J Evid Inf Soc Work. 2016 Sep-Oct;13(5):452-7. doi: 10.1080/23761407.2016.1166841. Epub 2016 May 21.


Animal therapy is making strides in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For years, animals have been used with great benefit in the treatment of the aged and the terminally ill. Now animal assisted therapy is benefitting sufferers of PTSD. The results of animal assisted therapy in the treatment of PTSD patients have seen significant results. In one study of the effect of dogs with patients, psychologists noted an 82% reduction in symptoms. One particular case noted that interacting with the dog for as little as one week, enabled a patient to decrease the amount of anxiety and sleep medications by half.

Keywords: Animal assisted therapy; PTSD; trauma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animal Assisted Therapy / methods*
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Psychological Trauma / psychology*
  • Psychological Trauma / therapy*
  • Veterans / psychology