5 Places Where Therapy Dogs Are Making a Difference
A therapy dog offers therapeutic comfort and affection to all those it comes in contact with. Its warm temperament and friendly disposition can brighten anyone’s day, however, you don’t need to happen across one on the street to enjoy its presence. Special organizations bring therapy dogs to visit residents or patients of public institutions such as hospitals. These are often the only times when dogs are able to be on the premises of public buildings and establishments when they are otherwise not allowed. Once there, the therapy dogs are able to make a positive difference in people’s lives.
No one likes staying at the hospital, however, a patient doesn’t have much choice but to stay put until they get the care they need. If it ends up being a lengthy stay, boredom and loneliness can set in. A visit from a therapy dog can offset this and improve a patient’s mood. Identified by a therapy dog vest
, they are common visitors to both children’s and general hospitals, helping patients of all ages.
#2. Retirement and Nursing Homes
A retirement home provides housing, entertainment, and health care for senior citizens. Although residents are in good company with their neighbors, some don’t get visits all that often. These residents are the ones who most appreciate the unconditional love offered by a therapy dog.
Additionally, therapy dogs are common guests at nursing homes, which house elderly residents or people with mental illnesses. Residents sometimes spend most of their days isolated, so the interaction with a friendly dog, overflowing with exuberance and joy in its therapy dog vest, can be the highlight of their day.
Library programs help children discover an enriching learning environment by letting them read books to therapy dogs. Reading to a therapy dog provides a stress-free, non-judgmental way to practice their reading skills without fear of someone interrupting them or correcting them when they stumble over a word. The kids have fun, and the whole process encourages them to continue reading.
Elementary schools bring a wealth of new experiences for young children. But between all the lessons, new friends, and homework assignments, it can start to get a little overwhelming. That’s when therapy dogs come can be used to help kids get through their day. The dogs offer a friendly face and can handle as many pets as children are willing to give.
#5. College Campuses
For college students, school can be less a place of learning and more a place of great stress. During finals week at the end of the semester, this stress can build up to alarming levels. That’s why therapy dogs have begun visiting campuses to help students decompress, relieving them of stress so they can hopefully pass their difficult classes.
Although therapy dogs are not protected by the ADA, like service dogs are, businesses and institutions may allow them if they go through the proper channels. This collaboration between organizations and public institutions allow therapy dogs to provide comfort to those who need it, regardless of the usual laws and restrictions, and make a real difference.