Therapy Dogs: How They Provide a Helping Paw
What Are Therapy Dogs?
Therapy dogs help their owners by giving them a sense of comfort and offer them affection. Therapy dogs are dogs that may be trained to help with the following:
- Provide affection
- Comfort and love those in the hospital or nursing homes
- Support schools, hospices, and disaster areas
- Support people who have anxiety disorders, depression, or autism
- Comfort individuals during therapy sessions or physical therapy
Did You Know?
A therapy dog can be trained for one person, or they can reside in nursing homes and help with many residents.
Therapy Dogs vs. Service Dogs
A service dog is trained to do a task for certain disabilities. They help their owners be safe and independent. Many service dogs have a "no petting" policy as it could disrupt their performance.
Therapy dogs will also have training, but it is completely different. They are trained to provide comfort. They are usually easy going and have a stable temperament.
How Dogs Help
Dogs can help in many ways. They provide unconditional love an acceptance of their owners. They can recognize panic attack signs and more. Having a responsibility to care for a dog, like feeding or other things, can help motivate a person.
Service Dog Tasks
Service dogs can also perform a task for their owner. These tasks can include:
- Opening doors
- Turning lights on or off
- Picking up dropped items
Different Types of Therapy and Service Dogs
- Allergy Detection Dogs: These dogs are trained to sniff out and alert the owner of things such as peanuts or gluten allergies.
- Emotional Support Dogs: Provide comfort to their owners or in schools, hospitals, and more.
- Autism Support Dogs: They help children with autism navigate social settings; they are also trained to keep them from running away or to track the child if they do run away.
- Depression, Anxiety, and PSD: These dogs can help by comforting. If someone in this category has trouble with their safety, the service dog can enter their homes first and make them feel safer. Having a dog also forces that person to go out into the world to exercise the dog, which can be very helpful.
- Seizure Response: They are trained to bark or set off an alarm when a seizure occurs.
- Guide Dogs: These dogs provide assistance by leading the visually impaired around. These are the most common type of service dog.
- Hearing Dogs: Assist by alerting the owner of noises like doorbells, alarms, and more. When they hear these sounds, they will touch the owner with their nose then guide them to sounds.
- Mobility Assistance: These dogs provide a variety of task. They can be trained to bring objects, push buttons, and become a brace for those who are ambulatory; they can pull a wheelchair up a ramp if needed.
- Animal-Assisted Therapy Dogs: They help therapists. Some help the patient gain motion in their limbs and develop hand-eye coordination. They are usually found at rehabilitation centers.
- Facility Therapy Dogs: Often work in nursing homes and mostly help patients with Alzheimer’s or mental illnesses. The dogs are trained staff members and live at the facility.
In WWII, therapy dogs were used to lift the mood of the recovering soldiers.
Petting a dog is proven to lower the risk of heart attack, seizure, and stroke.
Shelter pets can have a second chance at life by becoming a therapy dog.
- Therapy Dogs - The Different Types & Their Benefits | Fienberg Consulting
A therapy dog is a dog trained to provide affection and a sense of comfort to individuals in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, people with learning difficulties, and stressful situations, such as disaster areas.
- 10 Types of Service Dogs and What They Do
The list of types of service dogs is constantly growing — as is the diversity of service dog breeds that help people.
- Difference Between a Therapy Dog vs a Service Dog
Here's an explanation of the differences between therapy dogs and service dogs and a look at the roles these dogs play in the lives of those who need them.
- How Service Dogs Help Treat Depression & Anxiety | Rover Blog
Studies show service dogs are effective at treating depression and anxiety. We're exploring why and discovering new ways service dogs improve lives.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
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© 2018 Savanna H