There are two practices. Zootherapy and zoo-animation. Although the difference between the two is not easy to determine, it is nevertheless great.
Zootherapy is practiced by a zootherapist. Often, he is a specialized educator, psychoeducator or other. The care offered is accompanied by an animal. The zootherapist does the same job as usual at the level of the patient’s care, but he is accompanied by an animal. The animal can help the patient to open up, feel and remember from distant experience or not. The animal is meticulously chosen to meet the needs of each patient. He assists the zootherapist. Follow-ups and objectives will be pre-established and different for each patient. This practice has proven successful for many physical, chronic or mental health problems. The animal is there, supports the patient. Studies show that people are much more open when the animal is present.
Zoo-animation is there to share the benefits of the presence of the animal. More often in groups than individually, it is used to bring people together, facilitate contact between them, to fight loneliness and create greater openness. It brings a source of awakening and motivation and helps to increase social interactions.
The differences to remember:
The zoo-animation is an activity of relaxation and leisure;
Does not have a specific purpose
No follow-up or intervention report is done by the facilitator;
Is done in a group to facilitate social exchanges and stimulation;
The choice of the animal is made according to please the greatest number of participants.
Pet therapy is an intervention system performed by a therapist or specialized educator;
It can include specific objects to help the patient’s therapy;
The therapist provides a specialized intervention system for each patient;
Follow-ups and other sessions are planned;
Is done individually with the animal, the patient and the therapist;
The animal is chosen according to the needs of the patient