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Animal-Assisted Therapy: Home


Welcome to the Polk State College library guide for animal-assisted therapy (AAT) research topics.  Below you will find suggested books/ebooks and recommended databases. If you need help, click the link for Ask a Librarian.

Service Animal

"a domesticated animal and usually a dog that is trained to perform a supportive function for its owner (such as guiding an owner who is blind or alerting an owner who is deaf to sounds)"

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Service animal. In dictionary.

Searching Tips

Searching Tips

Remember to the read any guidelines for your assignment before searching and finding sources. Make sure any articles used match the criteria set by your professor.

Consider the following:

  • Does your source need to be current?
  • Do articles need to be from a peer-reviewed journal?
  • Do you have to have certain types of sources (e.g. ebooks or articles)?
  • Is there minimum or maximum number of sources you need to use?

All these questions can usually be answered by reading your assignment guidelines. If there are specifications (e.g. the articles need to be from peer-reviewed journals) it is a good idea to select those limits when searching.

Starting Search Words

animal-assisted therapy

service animals

guide dog"

canine-assisted therapy

seeing-eye dog

guide horses

hearing dogs

service dog

dolphin-assisted therapy


therapeutic horseback riding

psychiatric service dogs

seizure response dogs

mobility assistance dogs

mobility service dog

emotional support animal

therapy dog

therapy cat

To find more results: combine terms with OR, for example: guide dog OR seeing-eye dog OR service dog

To find fewer or more pertinent results: Experiment with adding quotes to keep a phrase together. For example, searching "emotional support animal" finds results that keep those words together. 

To compare the nuances between terminology, try searching just one term/phrase and then another, for example: How are the results different if "therapeutic horseback riding" is searched compared to if hippotherapy is searched? 

Experiment with removing the quotes and/or hyphens, as well as different combinations of terms and phrases. 


Recommended Databases

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Ask a Librarian

Organization of Information

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