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Therapy Dogs: How They Provide a Helping Paw

I am just a pet owner and animal lover who wants to save animals' lives.

Therapy dogs can do so much for their owners!

Therapy dogs can do so much for their owners!

Fun Facts About 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 offer the following services:

  • Offer comfort and love to those in the hospital or in nursing homes
  • Support schools, hospices, and disaster areas
  • Support people who have anxiety disorders, depression, or autism
  • Comfort individuals during therapy or physical therapy sessions
  • Provide affection

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 easygoing and have a stable temperament.

How Dogs Help

Dogs can help in many ways. They provide unconditional love and acceptance to their owners. They can recognize panic attack signs and more. Having a responsibility to care for a dog, like feeding or other things, can also 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 and then guide them to the sounds.
  • Mobility Assistance: These dogs provide a variety of tasks. 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.

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.

© 2018 Savanna H