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What is a Therapy Dog?

therapy dog

Therapy Dogs and their handlers provide special comforts to those in need. Keep reading to learn if this might be the right job for your sweet pup.

For more information on other types of working dogs, check out our articles on Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals (ESA). Each distinct title holds different purposes and requires different types and levels of training.

What does it mean to be a Therapy Dog?

A Therapy Dog is a companion/pet that is personally owned and has been qualified by a Therapy Dog organization to visit hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and other similar facilities. These dogs are there to comfort and provide emotional support to people who are sick, bed-ridden, and hospitalized. They have good behavior, are calm and nurturing, and unphased by noises, chaos, and large groups of people.

How can my dog become a Therapy Dog?

If you feel that your dog may be a good fit to be a Therapy Dog, contact a Therapy Dog organization near you to begin the evaluation process. Anyone can turn their dog into a Therapy Dog if they fulfill the organization’s behavioral requirements.

What’s the difference between a Therapy Dog and a Service Dog?

Therapy Dogs are nottrained to perform specific tasks to aid disabled people like Service Dogs. They are not allowed in any building that forbids pets, housing that has no pet policies, or airplane cabins. Therapy Dogs are not protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

Read more:

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

Training a Perfectly Polite Puppy

How to Find the Right Dog Trainer

Need to speak with a veterinarian regarding therapy dogs or another condition?

Click here to schedule a video consult to speak to one of our vets. You can also download the FirstVet app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Stores.

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