We are often asked, what is a therapy dog? A therapy dog is a volunteer, that is specially trained to provide comfort and affection to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, and those with autism.
They visit with their owners, and can provide long or short term service. They differ from assistance dogs and service dogs as they are extremely patient, loving and intuitive to those around them. Medical science shows that interactions with a therapy dog can reduce blood pressure, promote healing, reduce anxiety fatigue and depression.
Therapy dogs help in many ways to the quality of life for the elderly, the ill, and the emotionally frail. They may also go to educational environments such as schools or libraries. One of our dogs works at a funeral home as a comfort dog.
A friendly, loving and adorable dog can give children a valuable experience in learning about animals and overcoming their fears on all levels. Therapy dogs are in programs for children with reading challenges as well, and children report that reading to a dog is a much less of a scary experience than reading in front of their classmates. Dogs never judge. They can help a quiet or withdrawn child many times that will talk and open up to dog more easily than a human. Non-verbal children will also to communicate to a dog brought into their classroom for a visit.
These amazing dogs love human contact are patient and have no language barrier. There is so much us humans can learn from dogs. They are healing companions and provide love to whomever they meet.