Dog Therapy Appreciation Day is April 11th! Our canine companions hold several different jobs, including entertainer, workout buddy, trail partner, teacher, and guardian. However, one of Fido’s most important jobs is that of therapist. These very good boys can make a huge difference to those who are coping with grief, stress, depression, or anxiety. A Spring Hill, TN vet discusses therapy dogs below.
Therapy dogs are different from service dogs. Service dogs are trained to perform very specific tasks. These could range from sniffing out specific substances to acting as seeing-eye dogs. Therapy dogs are focused on providing comfort and emotional support. You can find therapy dogs wagging their tails in many different places. They may comfort the sick in hospitals or hospices, or soothe women and children in shelters.
According to National Geographic, there are up to 50000 therapy dogs here in the US. Almost any dog can become a therapy dog, but there are some requirements. Fido must be friendly, polite, and well-behaved, and obedient in any place or situation. As far as breeds, some that can often be found working as therapy dogs include Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds. Pomeranians also often make the cut, which isn’t surprising: these happy, adorable little dogs love to snuggle!
Even if your pup isn’t officially a therapy dog, he may still be a wonderful source of support for you. Dogs are great for us! For one thing, they keep us active. Exercise is great at helping us burn off both calories and stress, and can prompt the release of feel-good hormones known as endorphins. Fido also has a special way of offering support, whether by putting a paw on our leg, affectionately licking our faces, or even sticking closer than usual when we’re in a bad mood. Plus, pets are just great for our spirits. It’s almost impossible not to smile when watching a cute pooch hard at play!
Celebrating Therapy Dogs
This is a great time to raise awareness about therapy dogs, and to support and spread the word about the organizations that train them and work with them. Donations are a wonderful way to help, but even sharing posts on social media can be useful. Every little bit counts!
As your Spring Hill, TN veterinary clinic, we’re dedicated to providing top-notch veterinary care. Please contact us anytime!