The Paws and Hooves Project is India’s first integrated center to offer Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) through both dogs and horses (canine and equine assisted therapy).
We offer AAT through our team of certified therapists and consultant special needs educators, physiotherapists and most importantly – specially trained dogs and horses.
AAT is carried out by certified therapists with set goals to improve specific social, mental or physical health needs. AAT has been proven effective for the below conditions:
• Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
• Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
• Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• Cerebral Palsy
• Multiple sclerosis
• Spinal Cord Injuries
• Delayed development of motor skills
What is Equine Assisted Therapy (Hippotherapy)?
Equine-Assisted Therapy (EAT), is a treatment that includes equine activities and/or an equine environment in order to promote physical, occupational, and emotional growth in persons suffering from ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Dementia, Depression, Developmental Delay, Genetic Syndromes (such as Down Syndrome), traumatic brain injuries, behavioral issues, abuse issues, and many other mental health problems.
EAT can help the individual build confidence, self- efficiency, communication, trust, perspective, social skills, impulse control, and learn boundaries. Since horses have similar behaviors with humans, such as social and responsive behaviors, it is easy for the patients to create a connection with the horse.
Also, the gait of a horse is known to be similar to the gait of a human, enabling riders develop muscle tone and enhanced upper body balance, enabling Proprioconception – the neurological ability of the body to sense movement and position.
Equine-Assisted Therapies have been recognized in the medical and mental health field by most major countries.
Safety – At The Paws and Hooves Project, all our sessions are carried one-on-one through certified Equine Assisted Therapists in order to ensure physical safety of individuals undergoing therapy. We have specially designed saddles with seat belts for individuals who lack balance and cannot sit independently.
WHAT IS CANINE ASSISTED THERAPY?
Canine-assisted therapy uses dogs to promote health and healing. Like other animals, dogs are accepting, comforting and non-judgmental, making them ideal therapy companions. Therapy dogs undergo extensive training before working with patients.
Since the mid-1970s when canine therapy was introduced in clinical settings, this treatment has been offered in therapeutic boarding schools, special needs programs, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and mental health facilities. It is effective for children, adolescents and adults.
A variety of people can benefit from canine therapy, including those with autism, learning disabilities, behavioral problems and substance abuse. It is particularly beneficial when the patient is resistant to treatment or struggles to communicate verbally. Because of its hands-on approach, canine therapy is also useful for children and teens that have difficulty focusing.
In canine assisted therapy, patients may:
- Learn to give a dog commands
- Walk a dog
- Play interactive games with a dog
- Pet and care for a dog
Research proves that interacting with and caring for a dog has many therapeutic benefits, including:
- Decreased stress, relief from anxiety and depression
- Increased physical activity
- Increased focus and attention through hands-on interaction
- Improved communication and social skills
- Improved cognition
- Increased self-esteem
- Reduced blood pressure, elevated mood
- Reduced loneliness and enhanced sense of purpose
ANIMAL ASSISTED ACTIVITIES: While we perform goal-oriented Animal Assisted Therapy for individuals with special needs, we also conduct animal assisted activity sessions for groups of individuals in hospitals, corporate workplaces and schools as well. These sessions are aimed at bringing about a general sense of positivity while reducing stress and anxiety.
TRAINING OF THERAPY DOGS
The job of a therapy dog is to be caring, affectionate and bring joy to people, while interacting with people to help them with specific activities from a therapeutic goal perspective. Our certified trainers conduct temperament testing prior to selection of future therapy animals, and offer specialized training for therapy animals who can be used in homes, schools, hospitals and even corporate settings.
We not only train the animals, but also the owners and handlers in order to equip them with the knowledge needed in order to bring out the best in the dog.
Ensuring vaccinations are up to date, and regular checkups to ensure the dogs are in good health is a priority at out center, in addition to ensuring adequate training for our therapy dogs.
At The Paws and Hooves Project, all hippotherapy sessions are carried out one-on-one through certified Equine Assisted Therapists in order to ensure physical safety of the individuals undergoing therapy. We have specially designed saddles with seat belts for individuals who lack upper body balance and cannot sit independently.