Service Animals and Pet Therapy in Schools: Synthesizing a Review of the Literature


As the academic and social-emotional needs of students in schools continue to increase, so too does the presence of dogs in educational spaces. This article aims to present an overview of past and present animal-assisted intervention practices in school settings. This comprehensive literature review examines the current state of research within this field of study. Data from 29 publications were selected according to strict inclusion and exclusion criteria. The results highlight three categories in which the presence of dogs in schools have an impact: social-emotional, cognitive, and physiological. Challenges to program implementation include health risks, cultural context, and negative effects on the animal. Due to the lack of school-based research, more study is needed, especially in order to understand the effect of dogs on the social-emotional learning of students. Finally, the welfare and training of the animals involved should be taken into consideration, and regulations regarding handler and animal training should be enforced.

Dans Exceptionality Education International, 31 (1)
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Virginie Abat-Roy
Virginie Abat-Roy
Chercheuse en accessibilité et inclusion

Chercheuse en inclusion et accessibilité