Therapy Dogs – Fascinating Facts

Posted by | Posted in Healthy Lifestyle | Posted on 30-04-2011-05-2008


There is no higher therapy than the enjoy of a dog. Everyday around the world millions of men and women encounter the incredible bond in between humans and dogs. This is what the basis of what is becoming such a potent mode of therapy for many individuals in long term health care facilities, nursing homes and hospitals.

Animals have been recognized as being a positive influence when it comes to lowering blood pressure, improving feelings of loneliness, decreasing depression and raising self esteem. Some studies have shown individuals who are around dogs have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels than somebody who is not exposed to a dog. The fact is, dogs have a calming and therapeutic effect on individuals.

When a dog visits a health care facility, everybody advantages from their presence. The residence and/or patients, the staff too as the visitors are affected by the special magic these furry friends bring to their facility. Life in a long term care facility is often lonely and often boring for some residence. A visit from a dog breaks up the everyday routine and these magnificent creatures have an un-caning capacity to stimulate the mind in dramatic ways.

Distinct types of Therapy Dogs

You’ll find two recognizable types of Therapy Dogs. The most widespread are the dogs which are applied for visiting nursing homes, lengthy term health care facilities, hospitals and schools. These dogs are known as, ” Therapeutic Visitation Dogs”. The second sort is referred to as “Animal Assisted Therapy Dogs” . This classification of Therapy Dog is utilized for people who might have mental or physical illnesses.


As of 2007, you can find approximately 18,000 Therapy Dogs registered with an organization called Therapy Dogs International. This volunteer organization is devoted to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of therapeutic visitations. In Canada, the most recognizable organization which evaluates and tests possible Therapy Dogs is called St. Johns Ambulance. In 2007, this volunteer organization had 2300 dogs registered in their plan and they visited an estimated 68,000 patients which translated into approximately 146,000 volunteer hours. You can find quite a few facilities around the country that also specializes in training individuals and their family dog to turn into a Therapy Dog team.

How you can recognize a Therapy Dog

These dogs are commonly recognized by a colored vest, cape or jacket with a special patch sewn onto the garment. In Canada, the St. Johns Ambulance Therapy Dog plan uses a special bandana and an identification card which indicates the dog has been tested and certified. Each and every province or state may well have their own strategy of identifying a Therapy Dog team. It could incorporate many of the fore mentioned apparel or ID cards and/or the handler may well wear a special vest or shirt indicating they are a qualified team.

Access Laws

A Therapy Dog that is definitely recognized as a “Therapeutic Visitation Dog” does not have the same access privileges as the “Animal Assisted Therapy Dogs”. In the United States, check with your local government officials or pay a visit to the American’s With Disabilities Act internet site. In Canada, go to the Blind Persons Rights Act or the Canadian Human Rights Commission web site.

How You’ll be able to Make A Difference

You’ll be able to make a huge difference in the lives of numerous individuals, by becoming a volunteer Therapy Dog handler. You will learn and appreciate the unique bond you’ve got together with your personal dog and at the identical time you might be contributing to the well being and well being of numerous individuals who could use the positive influence of a dog. Contact your local training or testing facility to locate out how you along with your canine companion could make a difference as a Therapy Dog team.

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