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Everything You Need to Know About Certified Therapy Dogs
Therapy dogs are specially trained to provide comfort and affection to people in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and other settings. These certified therapy dogs help people to relax, reduce stress, and improve overall morale. In this article, we will explore the different types of certified therapy dogs, the process of certification, and the benefits of having a therapy dog.
What is a Certified Therapy Dog?
A certified therapy dog is a canine that has been trained and certified to provide comfort and affection to people in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and other settings. These dogs are trained to be gentle and obedient, and they are certified by a therapy dog organization. Therapy dogs provide emotional support to people in need and help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Therapy dogs are different from service dogs, which are trained to assist people with disabilities. Service dogs are allowed in public places and on airplanes, while therapy dogs are not.
Types of Certified Therapy Dogs
There are several different types of certified therapy dogs. The most common type is the traditional therapy dog, which is any breed of dog that has been trained and certified to provide comfort and affection to people in need. Other types of therapy dogs include:
- Therapy dogs for veterans: These dogs are specially trained to provide comfort and support to veterans who suffer from PTSD and other mental health issues.
- Therapy dogs for children: These dogs are trained to help children with special needs or emotional issues. They provide comfort and companionship to children in need.
- Therapy dogs for seniors: These dogs are trained to provide comfort and companionship to elderly people. They can help to reduce loneliness and isolation.
Certification Process for Therapy Dogs
In order to become a certified therapy dog, the dog must first pass a series of tests to prove that it is well-behaved and obedient. The tests may include:
- Behavioral test: The dog must demonstrate good manners and proper behavior in public settings.
- Temperament test: The dog must demonstrate a calm and friendly temperament.
- Health test: The dog must be up to date on all vaccinations and free from any contagious diseases.
Once the dog has passed the tests, it can be certified by a therapy dog organization. The organization will provide the dog with a certification card, which can be used to prove that the dog is a certified therapy dog.
Benefits of Having a Certified Therapy Dog
Having a certified therapy dog can provide many benefits to people in need. Here are some of the most common benefits of having a certified therapy dog:
- Reduced stress and anxiety: Therapy dogs can provide comfort and companionship, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Improved mood: Therapy dogs can help to improve mood and morale by providing unconditional love and support.
- Increased social interaction: Therapy dogs can help to increase social interaction by providing a friendly companion and helping to break the ice.
In addition to the benefits listed above, having a certified therapy dog can also provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Therapy dogs can bring joy and happiness to people in need and help to make their day a little brighter.
Certified therapy dogs provide comfort and affection to people in need. They can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and increase social interaction. If you are looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of others, consider becoming a certified therapy dog handler.