Health & Fitness

Where To Start To Qualify for a Therapy Dog or Animal

Domesticated animals are some of the most wonderful companions anyone can hope to have. Not only do they provide companionship, but if trained properly, emotional support and therapy as well. A lot of people find that they can avoid extreme emotions like depression, paranoia, fear, and more when a trained therapy animal is with them.

Having a therapy animal is just like having a pet but even better because you’ll have a furry personal therapist to support you at all times. However, emotional support animals are specially trained, and you can’t just buy one or pick one up from the dog shelter. If you want to have your own emotional support animal, then here’s everything you need to know.

How Does It Help?

To understand how therapy dogs help, you must first understand the difference between a therapy dog and a service dog. Therapy dogs are trained to detect particular emotional cues in humans like depression, loneliness, sadness, etc., and react accordingly to uplift the affected person’s mood back to normal. On the other hand, a service dog is trained to assist people with physical disabilities like blindness and deafness.

The main task of therapy animals is to bring joy and comfort to its owner by providing them with unconditional love and attention. Whereas the presence of another person can worsen the mood of someone with depression or addiction withdrawals, a therapy dog or animal doesn’t generate negative emotions.

Many people receiving treatment for addiction, such as from a drug and addiction rehab in Boca Raton, Florida, have reported coping with withdrawals better with a therapy dog by their side. This is because interactions with animals decrease cortisol levels in people suffering from addiction. Aside from providing emotional support, therapy animals can also allow their owners to go outside and interact with the world more often.   

Is It the Right Choice? 

Before you start indulging in the idea to get a therapy dog or animal, you need to first think things through. Having a pet comes with many responsibilities so you need to figure out whether you or the person for whom you want to get the therapy dog is up to the task. The main responsibilities include cleaning them, feeding them, taking them to the vet, and keeping them safe.

To perform all these responsibilities a lot of money and energy is required, so you must first be able to ensure a pet’s well-being before getting one. Pets like dogs, cats, rabbits, and raccoons are like children in the way they depend on their owners, so with or without training, every pet deserves a good home.

If you think that since therapy dogs offer physical and mental support to their owners they’re allowed everywhere, you would be wrong. Be sure to call ahead or look online for the rules at local restaurants. Many people understand of therapy dogs, but not all places can allow them due to health or safety codes.

What is the Process?

The first step of the process is adopting the dog or other animal you want. When it comes to dogs, the most common choice, doing some extensive research on the different breeds can help decide which one will work well with the future owner’s temperament.

Once the animal has been adopted it’s usually best to then hand them over to a trainer that specializes in therapy dog training. It usually takes a couple of months to train a puppy to be a therapy dog. Therapy training for animals mainly focuses on instilling positive traits in them like non-aggressive behavior, obedience, friendliness, and more. Once the training is complete, it’s time for the final step, registering the dog as a therapy dog.

There are many therapy dog certification organizations out there, and most follow the same criteria and guidelines for certifications. Therapy dogs have to be at least one year old to be qualified as such and have to pass a test that demonstrates ten key qualities required to be a therapy dog.    

Thinking Things Through

Getting a pet or therapy dog might be one of the biggest decisions in your life, so be sure to think things through before getting one. For many people, life would be pretty unbearable without their therapy dog to support them, but being responsible is a big task as well. 



Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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