The dogs used in therapy are pets that improve your health by providing you with emotional support. You can train your dog to be a therapy dog and to give emotional support to you and also to serve others. These dogs live in people’s homes but can also visit them in different settings, such as nursing homes, schools, hospices, and also hospitals.
These dogs are trained to be friendly and protective, they allow other people to hug and pet them even if they do not know them. They are patient dogs that tolerate children’s behavior well. In addition to dogs, there are also other animals that are used for this type of therapy, such as cats, birds, rabbits, among others.
The difference between therapy dogs and service dogs
You may have heard of service dogs as well, but they are different from therapy dogs .
They are trained to perform specific tasks on behalf of their owners. They receive high-level training, which is oriented to specific tasks such as helping their owners overcome disabilities or helping police officers or firefighters in different service tasks.
These dogs help improve a person’s mental health by giving them attention and comfort. His sweet demeanors and unconditional love can have therapeutic benefit for those facing difficult health challenges. However, unlike service dogs, anyone can enjoy a therapy dog.
How Therapy Dogs Can Improve Your Health
Some mental health problems and psychiatric disorders are known to respond well to therapy dogs. Patients diagnosed with a variety of problems, including depression , bipolar disorder , autism, ADHD, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even Alzheimer’s disease benefit from their interaction with therapy pets.
Sometimes emotional challenges are the result of physical health issues, and therapy dogs can help too. Experts suggest that patients recovering from difficult surgery or a serious accident who spend time with pets may heal more quickly. Studies have shown that such interactions can increase the mood-boosting hormone oxytocin and dopamine and decrease the stress hormone cortisol.
What kinds of dogs can be therapy dogs?
Any mild-tempered breed of dog can be considered a therapy dog with a little training. Larger breeds such as Saint Bernard dogs and Labradors are commonly used as therapy dogs. But smaller breeds like Poodles and Pomeranians are good choices when the dog and patient share a small space and the dog is well trained.
The good behavior of the dog may be partially a function of its breed, but it depends mainly on how the dog is raised and the uniformity with which its temperament develops. Before being accepted as therapy animals, dogs are examined and observed for their response to stimuli, such as loud noises.
Can you have your own therapy dog?
If you want more information on how to have a therapy dog to help yourself to a loved one, there are several you can keep in mind. You can search the Internet near your location and find out about organizations that train dogs.
Without a doubt, it is a training that your dog will appreciate because he will live with more stable emotions and you will be able to enjoy your dog at levels that you could not even imagine.