Anonymous asked: I don't think reptiles are meant to be pets. They are wild animals and dont provide the same levels that dogs and cats do. Can you use a snake as a therapy amimal? No.
To add to this, I have TERRIBLE anxiety and the calming effects handling snakes provides me with are what prevents me from having to take anti-anxiety medication. They can be fantastic therapy animals.
Agreed. If I’m near a panic attack taking out any of my snakes sends it away almost immediately.
Reptiles can make incredible therapy animals, especially for people with allergies to fur. I’ve brought Ngarehu with me to my Mom’s hospice and the residents there were active and interested in learning more about him. He was able to make connections to people who weren’t able to connect to an active and bouncy puppy.
Personally, I find him very soothing to handle as well. In public, when I feel like I’m on the brink of an anxiety attack, I can put my hand on him and remind myself why I’m outside. He’s the best emotional support animal I could have asked for. This is perfect for me since most anti-anxiety meds just put me to sleep.
Reptiles don’t experience emotions like us, but that’s ok. Sometimes it’s really nice to just slow down and pat a lizard or a snake.
Reptiles can’t be used as therapy animals? I think the NHS would have something to say about that;
Okay. So I can almost guarantee that you wouldn’t say this about someone’s cute little aquatic turtle or someone’s fish or a tree frog. I’m willing to bet any amount of money that this comes from bias towards snakes because of your ignorant misconceptions. It’s okay to not understand an animal or be afraid of it. It’s not okay to tell me that I’m less deserving of my animals because of your personal issues with them.
As far as them being therapy animals goes, I can and will say that the most calming thing I have the ability to do at home is sit down with olly on my stomach or my lap and run my hands gently down him, which he doesn’t mind at all. My snakes have the ability to let me de-compress in only a few minutes when I’m stressed just by letting me touch them.
People find their own personal therapy jn different ways. Some people do best with therapy dogs and whatnot, some people use sensory objects, some people go on walks, I handle my snakes.
A London clinic is the first to use reptiles to help patients overcome low self-worth and “communication issues”.
The Huntercombe hospital in Roehampton has enlisted Angel, a seven-year-old 5ft corn snake, in group sessions where patients can touch, feed and care for her.
The majority of its 38 patients are referred by the NHS for treatment for addictions and eating disorders.
Louise Helsdown, the occupational therapist running the programme, said snakes were a “fantastic aid” in helping people recover from mental health problems.
I’d like to add to the personal stories of reptiles as therapy animals. As someone with terrible anxiety problems, I would try to keep fish since they helped me; watching them swim was very calming for me. As a child, I didn’t really understand how to take care of fish. When I got in college, we weren’t allowed to have pets in the dorm, so I got a betta fish after researching and researching how to take care of it. Well, despite my efforts, the betta got sick and died from what I thing was fish tuberculosis. So I swore off keeping fish since I apparently have no luck with them.
Now I’m without a way to stay calm, right? I find my solace in animals, but since I’m in my dorm, I don’t have anything. Then, I found out I could keep a snake. I’ve always wanted a snake ever since I saw videos of Julius the burmese python when I was in my early teen years. My parents never let me have a snake, but I was no longer under their roof. I went to PetCo after gathering things I would need to keep a snake and bought Osiris (this was before I knew how bad pet stores were with reptiles. Never again.)
Osiris and Powder (who I got a couple months later) have been absolutely WONDERFUL animals to keep, and any time I feel anxious or panicky, I go to one of their tubs and play with them, stroking them and letting them explore my bed. The frequency of my attacks has gone down SIGNIFICANTLY, and they usually only happen if I’m unable to get to my snakes like if I’m out or something. So yes, anon. They are wonderful therapy animals. And I love Osiris and Powder JUST as much as I love my dogs or my cat.
Nothing is more lovely than snuggling with a pet snake on your bed in the morning. Something about feeling them move it super relaxing and the fact they are silent as well… I find watching their tongues the most interesting and relaxing thing.
Someone used to come to my pet store just to hold a snake and sleep for an hour or two.