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What Do Therapy Dogs Do?



What do therapy dogs do?

Therapy dogs are used in a number of different establishments to provide companionship and comfort. They visit people who may benefit from having a therapy dog around and they can stroke, pet and interact with the dogs. Studies have shown there are lots of benefits to having a dog around and therapy dogs can really enhance people’s lives. Therapy dogs is a fairly broad term which is defined as dogs that are used to benefit people in a therapeutic way.

Where do therapy dogs work?

Therapy dogs can work in lots of different places such as schools, hospitals, disaster areas, nursing homes and hospices. They can help a huge variety of different people included people who are ill or those with learning disabilities.

What type of dogs work as therapy dogs?

There are no set rules as to what sort of dogs may become therapy dogs. All therapy dogs are temperament tested before they can work. They need to be extremely well behaved, well socialised and enjoy being around people. It’s also desirable that they do not shed excessively and that they are good with other dogs and animals. A therapy dog can be any breed, they just have to have an excellent temperament and be very obedient.

The benefits

There are many benefits to having a therapy dog around. Therapy dogs can:

  • Help improve people’s mood
  • Reduce depression
  • Decrease stress as they help to lower cortisol levels
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Help prevent disease
  • Generally make people feel better and cheer them up during difficult times


 

Therapy dog charities in the UK

If you feel strongly about therapy dogs and want to help then you can get involved with any of the therapy dog charities. Some of the therapy dog charities in the UK include:

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