Pet Therapy Dogs Needed to Comfort Patients

June 22, 2018

Cooper Therapy Dog

The Denver Health Pet Therapy program is expanding! We are in search of therapy dogs to add to our team. Therapy dogs are not the same as service dogs. Service dogs are primarily used for individuals with disabilities. Therapy dogs are trained to comfort patients.

Studies on pet therapy have been shown to:

  • Reduce stress, anxiety and pain
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Provide mental stimulation
  • Decrease feelings of isolation
  • Encourage communication

 

There are requirements to become a therapy pet:

  • The dog must be at least one year of age
  • A prospective member testing with a dog must own the dog for at least three months prior to testing
  • The dog must be good around other dogs
  • The dog must listen to its handler
  • The dog must allow strangers to touch it all over (tail, ears, paws, head)
  • The dog must not jump on people when interacting
  • The dog must walk on a leash without pulling
  • The dog must not mind strange noises and smells
  • The dog must be calm for petting
  • The dog must not be afraid of people walking unsteadily
  • The dog must be current on all vaccines required by the local laws
  • The dog must have a negative fecal test every 12 months
  • The dog must be clean and well groomed

 

If you are interested in having your dog join our Pet Therapy program, please contact Julie Weaver at Julie.Weaver@dhha.org to learn how your dog can bring comfort to those who need it.