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Therapy Dogs

At the Veteran’s Army, we understand the benefits and impact therapy dogs can make to our veterans who suffer with poor mental health.

Having established a solid association with many therapy dog providers we find ourselves in a unique and very beneficial position for our veterans and their families. In a phenomenal move we have the unprecedented agreement that for every therapy dog we raise money to buy and home, our friends at Scent Pro K9 will provide us with a second therapy dog.

What is dog therapy?

A therapy dog is trained to provide affection, comfort and support to people. Therapy dogs are trained to interact with all kinds of people, not just their handlers, meaning our veterans’ families also benefit from this addition to the home.

Benefits (Why use Therapy Dogs)?

Animal Assisted Therapy has been reported to help many psychological health issues such as anxiety, depression, social skills, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and simply improving the moods of patients. The use of dogs for therapeutic reasons has been advocated by many people over the last few centuries, including Florence Nightingale, Sigmund Freud and Elaine Smith.

In Uganda, The Comfort Dog Project pairs dogs with those traumatised by war. Participants learn how to care for and train the animals. Working this way with dogs has been shown to assist with confidence, help with depression and supports recovery from PTSD. Studies have shown handlers of therapy dogs see improvements in their cardiovascular system, as positive increases in both their mood and confidence. Furthermore, petting animals promotes the release of hormones that can elevate moods, specifically serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin. Studies have found decreased cortisol levels in handlers of therapy dogs.

therapy dogs

The RIght Dog

We source dogs specifically trained to be a therapy dog. These dogs come from many different breeds, each trained to easily and effortlessly fit into a new home with no additional training required. All basic dog obedience and environmental training is done and rigorously tested before certification. Most dogs do not get homed until they are around 12 months old to ensure they are ready, and handlers are taught all their dog’s basic commands and shown how to maintain the dog’s training.

Apply for a therapy dog

Through the kind donations of supporters, Veteran’s Army are able to offer funding towards therapy dogs.

If you are interested in finding out more, please complete the form below and a member of our team will contact you.