Having an animal companion, like a dog, can be incredibly beneficial in numerous ways. After all, they can be loving, make us feel less lonely, and even influence positive physical effects, such as decreased blood pressure. Although all dogs can be our closest friends, therapy dogs are a special kind of companion that is based on these good qualities and they are trained to assist people. This article will discuss what therapy dogs are and how they can potentially change your life.
What Separates Therapy Dogs From Regular Dogs?
In general, dogs can have a profoundly positive effect on humans – after all, the old saying goes that “a dog is a man’s best friend”. This is because they can be loyal and affectionate creatures, and this translates into numerous health benefits.
Although dogs are some of the most common pets that people can have, did you know that there are also many dogs that are trained specifically to help people because of the great qualities that dogs can have?
Even if a dog has a gentle nature, therapy dogs are still always trained to be calm, friendly, and sociable to all individuals, not just their handlers.
One of key differences between therapy dogs and having a loving dog for a pet is that therapy dogs are typically found at different facilities, like hospitals and nursing homes, and so they aren’t necessarily owned by the individual who is seeking assistance from a therapy dog. Rather the owner and their dog will help others who are in need.
While there are similarities between the two especially when it comes to some of the goals, therapy dogs are not the same as emotional-support dogs (ESD). Unlike therapy dogs, ESDs are pets that are prescribed by a mental health professional to help with a person suffering from mental illness to function normally.
It’s also important to know that therapy dogs are different from service dogs as well. Both types must be certified, but service dogs are owned by people who have disabilities, such as blindness, This means that these dogs have privileges to access public areas, including airplanes, but there may be some rules in place depending on the airlines, but they are generally excluded from pet fees that typically come with traveling with an animal.
Overall, therapy dogs are basically volunteers at places where people need their services, hence why they need to be trained to deal with many strangers and different situations, like loud and sudden sounds and abrupt movements.
How To Find A Therapy Dog
As mentioned before, therapy dogs can typically be found in facilities where people can benefit from them the most such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes. The owners of the therapy dogs will visit these locations to provide support for others.
If you wish to have a dog to be by your side for the foreseeable future, you could consider adopting a pet that shares many of the traits that therapy dogs have and enjoy a lot of the same benefits that come from therapy dogs.
Owning a pet can certainly make a difference in your health and wellbeing, but you should also try to seek help from a counselor or therapist, such as the ones found online at BetterHelp. Talking to someone can help you sort out your thoughts and learn new ways to cope, in addition to having an animal companion to support you.
If you are in need of support, dogs can be a valuable asset in so many ways, and hopefully this article has shown you what therapy dogs are, how they are helpful, and where you can find them. If you think you can benefit from working with one, don’t hesitate to reach out to locations that offer the assistance of therapy dogs.