I have been asked numerous times why I’m in a training mode about pet therapy. Seems many people feel they have the PERFECT dog, and they want to know how to qualify their dog for this new adventure.
Having done pet therapy myself years ago, I enlisted an expert in the field, Sandy Dubin, who is a Pet Partner Evaluator and Instructor, to “correctly” answer 10 basic questions.
Just remember, pet therapy dogs are NOT service dogs. They are not allowed in public settings… only those where they are directly doing the therapy sessions, i.e. hospitals, retirement homes, assisted living facilities, schools, libraries, etc.
Here is my interview with her covering these topics:
- What can I expect my time commitment per month to be?
- How old does my dog need to be? Is it a requirement they be spayed or neutered?
- What does CGC mean?
- What is the next step when my dog passes the test?
- What happens if my dog fails the test?
- How much does it cost to have my dog certified?
- How often is certification given and re-certification needed?
- What other animals can become therapy animals?
- What do I have to do to prepare my dog for a therapy visit?
- Who do I contact if I want to do pet therapy in a hospital, nursing home, library, etc.?