Health Coaching

Make a health coaching appointment. Your health is important. If you want to make any small adjustments or larger long-term changes, health coaching is for you. For more information, call 319 337 3313 x3.

Pet-centered health coaching available also. Often your health & your pet’s health go hand in hand, so consider including your pet in your health coaching. For more information, call 319 337 3313 x3.

Click here for info on human-animal-environment connections.

Click here for info on the Human-Animal Interaction division of the American Psychological Association: Human-Animal Interactions in Psychology

Read about the difference between support and service animals:

Wait, What? A Therapy or Support Animal Is Not a Service Dog

Above is a picture of Emma, a certified pet-therapy dog. Emma’s job is amazingly effective. Her presence brings smiles to faces & calmness in visits. Emma is registered at the high-complexity therapy level. She is a mellow pooch who thrives on sitting with others. She has been a visitor for read-to-a-dog library events & also sits with people in hospice.

Like Emma, other animals help us be healthier both individually & as a community. It’s important to understand the different categories of animal-assisted interactions (AAI) as there’s misinformation out there about what constitutes service dogs, emotional support animals (ESAs), & therapy animals.

Unfortunately, people may take inappropriate advantage of AAI by bringing their pets into public buildings even when the animals are not service animals. In reality, ESAs or therapy dogs are not allowed in stores; only official service dogs are. Let’s look at proper terminology.

SERVICE DOGS: Did you know, a service dog is not a pet? Legally, a service dog is an animal providing assistance to or performing tasks for a person with a disability. Example: a formally trained Seeing Eye Dog acts as the vision guide for a person who is vision impaired. For more information, google ADA National Network & service dogs.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS (ESAs): The ADA explains that ESAs, also called comfort animals, are support animals that “provide companionship, relieve loneliness, & sometimes help with depression, anxiety, & certain phobias, but do not have special training to perform tasks that assist people with disabilities.” In summary, an ESA dog is not an official service dog.

For a person who wants to claim their pet as an ESA, they need authorization from a health care provider who needs to be thorough with the paperwork. A health care professional should only authorize someone for an ESA if their is sufficient supporting information, eg, input from a therapist or counselor.

THERAPY ANIMALS: Although not legally defined by federal law, some states have laws defining therapy animals. In general, therapy animals provide people with therapeutic contact to improve physical, social, emotional, &/or cognitive functioning. A pet owner & their pet go through testing, coursework,, & registration to authorize the pet-human therapy team to do visits.

Read more about the AAI world by visiting the resources listed below. Meanwhile, give credit to all the legitimate animals and people working in the AAI world to help advance our community’s health.