Therapy dogs are pets that help the mood and recovery of patients in hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Your puppy might be the perfect candidate for rejuvenating the moods of the sick and ailing.
- Your dog must love people and be friendly towards other animals.
- Basic obedience skills are a must! Your dog must know how to sit, stay, come, heel, and lie down.
- Near-perfect health is vital, too. Your pet must be groomed well; have no fleas, ticks or parasites; be emotionally stable and not be overly aggressive.
- Pup Pup must be at least one year old and not live off a raw meat diet.
- Your veterinarian must certify your dog that he or she has all of their vaccinations and is a good candidate for therapeutic purposes.
Once you set up an appointment for an evaluator to take a Canine Good Citizen Test (fee will typically cost between $30 and $40), make sure to brush up your pup on his obedience and temperament skills. An evaluation will take about a half hour, and the evaluator will test on how your dog can handle real-world situations. There is no limit to how many times your dog can take the test. If you don’t succeed the first time, try again.
Step up your game.
Once your dog gets its certification, get active with your new license (because doing otherwise will make your dog lose it within a year). Get in touch with local hospitals, care centers for kids and seniors, and rehab centers to offer your services. Once you get the go-ahead, you’re in!
Word of caution: don’t let your dog loose with allergy sufferers; they won’t be happy when they have to deal with being in the hospital, along with a cold.