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How to Get a Therapy Dog for Anxiety

Are you looking for a therapy dog to help with anxiety? People who suffer from anxiety, depression, or other mental disorders can benefit greatly by therapy dogs.

These furry friends are calming and gentle and can do wonders for comforting and relieving suffering. This is why we have created this guide to help you get a therapy dog.

Therapy dogs and their owners often work together to comfort and uplift people in high-stress situations. Therapy dogs are great for schools, nursing homes, and other settings. You want to learn how to get a therapy canine? Let’s now discuss the steps you can take to become a licensed and certified therapy dog.

woman with beagle dog in countryside
Photo by Blue Bird on Pexels.com

What is Therapy Dog?

Therapy dogs are dogs that are trained to comfort, love, and provide emotional support. These dogs are specially trained to help people suffering from mental trauma and mental suffering. Dogs possess a kind, gentle nature that can help to alleviate sadness and nervousness.

These dogs are often found in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, or other settings. Therapy dogs are able to be used to comfort and love people in distress after a disaster.

Therapy dogs generally fall under one of three categories: animal assisted therapy dogs or therapeutic visitation dogs. Let’s take a look at each one.

Dogs for therapeutic visits

To comfort and cheer up patients and their visitors, therapeutic visitation dogs visit schools, hospitals, and mental health centres. Many studies have shown the effectiveness of therapeutic visitation dogs. This is the most popular type of therapy dog.

Animal assisted therapy dog

Rehabilitation clinics use animal assisted therapy dogs. Patients’ quality of living can be improved in many ways by them. They can help patients cope with mental disorders, and they can also assist in motivating and educating people.

AAT (animal assisted therapy) can also be implemented under the supervision of an therapist to aid people in restoring their mobility via motor-control exercises.

Dog for Facility Therapy

Most often, facility therapy dogs are used in nursing homes. They provide companionship and much-needed companionship for the residents. They can also be trained to notify staff of medical emergencies and other issues.

What is the difference between Therapy Dogs and Service Dogs?

You may hear the terms used interchangeably, but therapy dogs are not service dogs. The ADA’s (Americans with Disabilities Act) definition of a service dog is a dog that is specifically trained to perform certain tasks for an individual with a disability.

The service dog can assist blind people, people in wheelchairs, or alert deaf people to important sounds like fire alarms and doorbells. A service dog’s job must be directly related to its owner’s disability.

Service dogs should be focused on their job. While they work, service dogs are taught not to be around animals or people other than their owners. Therapy dogs are trained to be friendly and calm with patients of all ages.

Service dogs may be allowed in certain situations, but therapy dogs are not. Therapy dogs are not allowed under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

How do you register your dog as a therapy dog?

You want to have a registered therapy canine? That’s great! It’s very simple. First, you will need to adopt a dog. Then you need to give them the training and support they need in order to be a therapy dog. Some dogs are trained by professional trainers while others are taught at home by their owners.

After completing a few requirements, your pup will be registered. This involves passing an exam to prove that your dog is a therapy dog.

Let’s get in on the action and learn more about it.

Step 1: Adopt a dog

Adopt a dog first! Therapy dogs must be friendly and well-behaved. They must also enjoy human contact. If the dog is trained properly and has the right temperament, any breed can excel in therapy work. Labs, Bernese Mountain Dogs and Golden Retrievers are all great for therapy work.

Adopting a dog from the shelter is better than buying them from a breeder. Although younger dogs are easier to train and bond with, there are always exceptions. Older dogs can make wonderful therapy pets.

Spend time with your dog and be attentive to their interactions. A dog with a friendly and gentle temperament will be a great therapy dog.

Step 2: Train your Therapy Dog

The best way to train therapy dogs is to hire someone to help you. These services are offered by private and public trainers as well as organizations. However, it is not unusual for individuals to train their dogs successfully.

In order to build a relationship with your dog, it is important that you start training him early. There are many behavior patterns that you will need to encourage, and some you should discourage.

To be successful in therapy work, your dog must be friendly, calm, obedient, outgoing and friendly. All behaviors that are aggressive, such as jumping on people or chewing on unsuitable objects, and barking, are unacceptable. Therapy work is not for dogs that are too timid, anxious, or unsocial.

Your dog will encounter many different people and be exposed to a variety of environments. Your dog’s training will depend on how exposed he is to these situations.

We’ll be discussing some of the requirements for therapy dog certification in the next section.

Step 3: Register your dog

There are many organizations that can be used to make your therapy dog certified. You will need to submit medical documentation proving your dog is current on all shots and immunizations. Also, you will need to confirm that your dog has attained the age of one.

Before beginning the registration process your dog must pass the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. Your dog will be able to prove they are trustworthy and well-behaved by passing this test.

To determine if your dog is acting appropriately, they will be monitored and tested.

  • You are well-behaved in crowd settings.
  • Basic commands such as sit, lay down and stay must be obeyed.
  • Friendly strangers should be treated with kindness
  • When you are called, come.
  • Are comfortable being petted.
  • Can be trained to walk on a leash and not pull.
  • They are well-mannered and polite with other dogs.
  • Avoid being distracted.
  • You can leave the property with another person than the owner.
  • Are calm and well-mannered and are comfortable being handled (including their ears and paws).

After passing the CGC test, you’re ready to register your dog with an officially recognized therapy dog certification organization. To become a therapy dog, your dog must be registered with one these organizations.

Depending on which organization you choose, you can apply online or in person. Volunteer opportunities and facilities for pet therapy can be arranged by organizations. The organization’s insurance will cover you. This insurance will cover your liability. We recommend that you do not volunteer.

Keep your Therapy Dog Certificate Current

You will need to follow a few steps to keep your therapy dog certificate current. Keep your therapy dog clean and tidy. Your therapy dog will also need to be up-to-date with all immunizations. This includes a negative fecal check once a year.

A therapy dog can be a great way to help your community. It is a rewarding experience for all involved. An easy-going, friendly dog with the right training will be a great candidate for therapy work. Follow this guide and be prepared for your evaluations.

If you do plan to get a therapy dog for anxiety, don’t forget to check out our top-rated high protein dog food. It’s a high-performance dog food you can trust, with high quality ingredients and transparent labeling. It’s sure to be loved by your therapy dog.

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