Did You Know That Some Dogs Are Employed As Therapists?
It’s no secret that pets can make you feel better but for some dogs, it’s a full-time occupation. Much like service dogs, therapy dogs are trained with the task of providing emotional and physical support for people with anxiety, depression and PTSD, or who find it difficult to communicate with the world around them.
But while both service and therapy dogs are trained to help their owners, there are a lot of differences between their job descriptions.
What do therapy dogs do differently?
Service dogs are trained to do specific tasks to assist their owners, typically people with physical or mental disabilities. Also called assistant dogs, service dogs can go into all public spaces with their owners without question, but they aren’t for petting! So as much as you want to give them a good pat and cuddle when you see them, it’s best not to because they happen to be at work.
Therapy dogs, rather, are dogs with easy-going temperaments that are trained to be pet. It’s a part of their job description to interact with everyone and are meant to help calm their owners and give them a confidence boost. They also might not work with just one person, and will be sent out to work in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and can even be sent out to your office.
Recently some schools have seen a benefit in taking on therapy dogs to teach kids how to read. Kids with learning disabilities or developmental delays might have self-esteem issues surrounding reading aloud to their parents or teachers and find it easier to read to their dogs. They also work in schools to help kids with autism socialise, because having a dog with you can be a great icebreaker.
What breeds of therapy dogs are best?
A lot of dogs can be therapy dogs, and there’s no particular breed that is best for everything, or even for one thing. Small pups like Pomeranians and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are great for home-bound people who are intimidated by larger breeds, Bloodhounds can be trained to sniff out chemical changes in the body of their owners and detect drops in blood sugar, and the Corgis tend to be more obedient and are energetic enough to spend all day with a busy owner.
You or your healthcare provider might have to research to find the perfect therapy dog for you, but the most common breeds are Golden Retrievers, Collies, German Shepherds, Beagles, Greyhounds and Pomeranians.
Remember, these dogs work hard, and need to be well taken care of. Feeding them Hypro Premium will take care of their diet so they can have enough energy to take care of you.