People residing in a long-term care facility, such as a hospice or nursing home, may experience health benefits from pets. Pets help them to cope with the emotional issues related to their illness. They also offer physical contact with another living creature, something that is often missing in an elder's life.
Pets for nursing homes are chosen based on the size of the pet, the amount of care that the breed needs, and the population and size of the care institution.
Appropriate pets go through a screening process and, if it is a dog, additional training programs to become a therapy dog.
There are three types of therapy dogs: facility therapy dogs, animal-assisted therapy dogs, and therapeutic visitation dogs. The most common therapy dogs are therapeutic visitation dogs. These dogs are household pets whose handlers take time to visit hospitals, nursing homes, detention facilities, and rehabilitation facilities.
Different pets require varying amounts of attention and care; for example, cats may have lower maintenance requirements than dogs.