January 14th is National Dress Up Your Pet Day, which made me think about pets. When I was able to visit my Grandma in her long-term care facility, prior to her passing, there were always dogs! The staff encouraged visitors to bring in their pets, so when my family got our dog, we brought her in to visit my Grandma. My Grandma lit up while petting Remmy, and talked about dogs she had throughout her life.
Therapeutic Visitation Dogs are one type of therapy dog. They help people who are away from home due to mental or physical illness. People benefit from therapy dogs in the following ways:
- Dogs help people maintain a positive attitude through their own zest for life!
- Research shows that therapy dogs fulfill the human desire to be touched and to touch. Stroking the warm fur facilitates social behavior and encourages physical movement.
- Therapy dogs make people feel needed, and allow people to be nurturers.
- Dogs love everyone without prejudice, regardless of age, ability, or mental strength.
- A visiting therapy dog breaks up monotony of daily living, which can be boring and lonely in a long-term care facility.
Not every dog is meant to be a therapy dog or should be brought into a long-term care facility. Therapy dogs are highly trained working dogs that must be tested, observed, and certified by a national therapy dog registry. Registered therapy dogs will have identification and be insured.
If you would be interested in learning more or getting your dog certified as a therapy dog, please visit the links below for more information:
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