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Therapy Dog Benefits and Requirements

Mike Sagman

Retired dentist, Dr. Mike Sagman has been a proud advocate for companion animals for many years. One topic about which Dr. Mike Sagman is passionate is therapy dogs, which are companion animals trained to provide emotional support in a facility setting.

Unlike service dogs, which work with a specific person and are trained to handle elements of the person's unique physical challenges, therapy dogs provide comfort and warmth in settings like hospitals, schools, and libraries. The gentle nature of these animals and the companionship they provide helps people by lowering their blood pressure and heart rate, as well as reducing their anxiety.
A dog needs extensive training and the right disposition to be a good therapy dog. These animals must be calm, patient, and affectionate creatures to begin with, as well as able to adapt to any circumstance or emerging situation.

Basic obedience training, likewise, is essential to therapy dog work. Most therapy dogs obtain the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen and Advanced Canine Good Citizen designations before being enrolled in a therapy dog class. Registering with a therapy dog organization is usually the final step in sharing a therapy dog, as this can provide additional support and insurance for a therapy dog owner.

 

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