Therapy dogs have been getting a lot of attention these days, and with good reason! They do important work, volunteering in schools, hospitals and nursing homes to help make peoples’ lives that much better. While they aren’t service dogs, who specifically help work with people with disabilities, therapy dogs do still receive important training that make them a good fit for their role.
In honor of National Therapy Dog Appreciation Day on April 11, we’d like to share with you some the reasons we love therapy dogs!
Why We Love Therapy Dogs
Their personalities are so loveable
While any dog will carve out a special place in your heart, therapy dogs tend to be friendly, patient and relaxed. Because they visit places where they’ll be expected to interact with lots of different kinds of people, they get used to constant pets and attention! They also have to be trained to stay calm and quiet to make it easier to have them in public.
They love helping people
It’s true – they thrive on being helpful and loved. They go to hospitals and rehab centers, homeless shelters and schools. Everywhere they go, they eagerly do whatever they can to help. In schools, a therapy dog can serve as a “listener” to help kids learn to read out loud, improving their reading skills. In hospitals, they visit patients to put smiles on faces of people going through a tough time.
They have amazing effects on human health
According to Therapy Dogs United, interacting with a therapy dog can reduce blood pressure, promote physical healing, reduce anxiety, fatigue and depression, and provide emotional support. How incredible is that? (If you’re looking for reasons to get your own therapy dog, I think we just wrote your list for you!)
They can help employees work smarter in the workplace
A pup at the office? Any dog-lover’s dream! Therapy dogs in particular have been shown to lower stress levels and help people react better to difficult situations in a work environment. Plus, they give you a great excuse to take a midday break – fetch!
They can help those recovering from trauma
While the common uses of a therapy dog are less serious, many people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can benefit from a therapy dog. They form strong bonds between dog and owner and can help calm their person down when they’re in the midst of a panic attack.
These special therapy dogs can make such a drastic positive change in the lives that they touch – what’s not to love? While National Therapy Dog Appreciation Day is a great excuse to celebrate these incredible pups, it’s important to remember the positive impact they have all year long.
What do you think would be a perfect name for a therapy dog? Tell us in the comments!