Therapy Dogs

Author: gibbywmu
October 29, 2008
Therapy Dog

 The human-animal bond is strong. Dogs were amongst the first animals to be domesticated, and as they proved their worth as hunters, guards and companions, the bond has continued to grow stronger. Many people will agree that animals can make a positive influence on our lives. Dogs used for therapy are just one way they make a positive impact.

What is a therapy dog? Therapy dogs are of any size, breed, colour, shape, sex or age and use the power of the human-animal bond to help people. The help may come in the form of emotional support. For example, a dog may visit the elderly and show them that they are loved by allowing the person to hold the dog while they laugh or cry. The help may also be physical. For example, dogs can be used to encourage a stroke victim to move an arm to pet the dog.

Why are animals used as part of therapy? It is the unconditional love that these animals provide to those that are ill, disabled, elderly or anyone who is in a facility and is deprived of acceptance, love or touch. Therapy dogs can be used in many different situations, such as during social activities or physical therapy. Everyone benefits from therapy dogs – the individual(s) who needs the therapy, the staff at the facility, the individual’s family, and the therapy dog him/herself.

As with all dogs, even dogs used as therapy love a healthy dog treat, like greenies.  It is sure to make them even happier than they were before!

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