Therapy Dogs Provide Support to Lots of People

Therapy Dogs Provide Support to Lots of People

Posted by Ginger Ackerman

As you’ve been out and about, you’ve probably noticed a therapy dog. These dogs are not just pets but also play an important role in helping with their owners’ physical and mental health.

A therapy dog is one that helps to improve the lives of people. A therapy dog is not a service dog, which is a dog with specific training related to assisting someone with their disability. Instead, therapy dogs typically help to provide comfort and affection.

Some therapy dogs are trained as volunteers for environments such as hospitals, schools, or nursing homes. Here, they interact with those present to help them with specific needs.

There are a diverse range of people that tend to benefit from therapy dogs. These dogs can lessen stress, sadness, pain, and other things. They tend to be recommended for people who are experiencing chronic or severe illnesses, those suffering from mental health concerns such as PTSD or anxiety, children with developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder, or those in the care of others such as someone experiencing dementia.

There are a wide variety of things that therapy dogs provide.  For someone living in a nursing home or in an assisted care facility, a therapy dog can serve as a valued companion by helping to lessen loneliness, encourage activity, and provide greater purpose. A therapy dog’s presence can help provide comfort and confidence to a child with a disability.  This can lead to engaging in academic activities that they otherwise would not do.

Therapy dogs provide benefits for mental and physical health. In elderly care environments, dog walking or joining a pooch for water aerobics can promote exercise.   The simple act of petting and playing with a dog has positive impacts on stress and cardiovascular health. These special animals also provide mental comfort such as reducing anxiety for children in a hospital or allowing someone with dementia to create a bond.

Whether you have a therapy dog or just a household pet, it is important to keep your dog exercising for their own health and wellness. Be sure to exercise your pup daily. We recommend swimming as a great enrichment exercise. For those with water-loving dogs, our dog floats and dog rafts are the perfect company for your lake day! 

Check out our Lazy Dog Loungers to see how these special dog rafts can provide a resting place while your pup is in the water with you.