From its unpretentious beginnings in pastoral England to the current interest in scientific research and trials of its use, pet therapy is clearly drawing attention to its benefits. Throughout the 40-year history of pet therapy, nursing and nursing research has been at the very heart. The growing body of research in pet therapy reflects nursing's own evolutionary process. This article reviews the history of pet therapy and discusses the growing body of research illustrating the healing power of animal use.
Graduate Nursing Student School of Nursing University of Louisville Louisville, Kentucky (Hooker)
Professor School of Nursing University of Louisville Louisville, Kentucky (Freeman)
First Lieutenant U.S. Air Force U.S. Armed Services San Antonio, Texas (Stewart)