Therapy dogs as companions

Dogs make such effective therapy animals because of their sensitivities to human emotion. They have been proven time and time again to show sympathy and empathy by nuzzling or whining when they sense a human is sad or in general emotional distress. 

Therapy dogs for PTSD

 PTSD patients with a dog don’t just sleep more, but have higher levels of oxytocin and dopamine with reduced cortisol, the stress hormone.

How else do assistance dogs and pets help sufferers of post traumatic stress order?

  • Improved self-sufficiency, as service dogs can be trained to assist in tasks throughout the day .
  • Reduction in stress and anxiety in the individual, allowing them to practise their response to stressful or triggering situations.
  • Provides a grounding for the patient through the dog’s consistent and positive presence.
  • Playing with a dog or cat can elevate serotonin and dopamine levels, which calm and relax you.

Therapy dogs in schools

Their roles can vary from actively participating in physical rehabilitation therapy to giving children with learning disabilities the confidence to read aloud and improve reading skills.

Therapy dogs and children 

  • Responsibility
    • A dog is an easy pathway to sustainable responsibility
    • For some children, the ability to transition some responsibility behaviors can be incredibly beneficial
  • A best friend
    • Everyone can always deal with having an extra best friend
    • Having the unconditional love of a dog is heartwarming and can provide comfort to many children


Therapy dogs and autism 

There are a few different ways that having a dog in the family can help an autistic child. There are two different types of dogs to consider

  • Service or assistance dogs with specialized training
  • General family pets

Either a specially trained assistance dog or general family pet can have significant benefits for a child with ASD.

  • Having a dog can provide a positive social interaction
    • Any source of positive social interaction should be prized
    • A well-trained dog or specially trained assistance dog can provide frequent positive social interaction a therapy dog is a  purpose of communication, and something to talk about improving verbal communication 
    • This can help improve interaction and socialisation in young children with autism 
    • A well-integrated, well behaved and accepted dog can provide an autistic child with comfort.
    • Many dogs end up sleeping in the room or at the door of their child
    • Additional support at home and out and about during the day is always welcome

Therapy dog visits 

Therapy dogs often visit places with vulnerable people such as nursing homes, hospitals, and college and schools to soothe stressed patients .

Therapy dogs at work 

Therapy dogs are even being brought into the work place where they make employees feel less stressed and more productive.