8 Therapy Dog Life Lessons

We can learn a great deal from therapy dogs. These fluffy healers not only provide comfort and support to those in need but offer a reminder of the powerful impact of simple acts of kindness and empathy. Here are some life lessons therapy dogs teach us, that we can incorporate into our daily lives!

1. Listening Without Judgement

Therapy dogs provide a lesson in the art of non-judgmental compassion and communication. No matter how shocking, therapy dogs do not judge a person based on their words or actions. They offer a safe space for people to be vulnerable and teach us to accept others without preconceived notions.

2. Silence Can Be Louder Than Words

Therapy dogs help remind us that sometimes our physical presence can be more impactful than our words. When someone is grieving or simply going through a rough time, they may not want to discuss it. Instead, we can take a cue from our canine friends and offer a compassionate heart and a comforting presence. Sitting in silence with a loved one can be one of the most important things you can do.

3. Don’t Forget To Play

While therapy dogs have an important job to do, they also make time to play! Whether it’s playing fetch with your dog or playing board games with loved ones, it’s essential to have some fun in our lives. Our pups can remind us to make room for playtime when we can. Playtime is also important for our physical health and can help encourage us to get off the couch or away from our phones.

4. The Importance Of Connection

Being a part of a therapy dog team can help you and your pup meet new people. This helps teach us that no matter how old you are or where you come from, you can always make new friends. Our Alliance of Therapy Dog volunteers get to make new connections at their facility visits and can also bond with other alliance members. 

5. Practice Gratitude

Dogs appreciate the little things in life. They are grateful for spending time outside, for treats, and for getting to be with you. They understand the importance of being grateful for what you have. Dogs also tend to live in the present. They aren’t stuck thinking about the past or worrying about the future. It’s important to see the pawsitive things in life after all.

6. Be In Service To Others

A therapy dog life lesson they teach us is to be in service to others. By dedicating their presence to those in need, therapy dogs show the profound impact simple gestures can have on those who are going through a difficult time. Giving back to others can be fulfilling for both you and your dog.

7. Embrace The Outdoors

Take a cue from your dog and embrace the great outdoors.  Spending time outside can be good for our physical and mental health. By taking your dog for a walk, you are also taking time to improve your wellbeing and you can’t go wrong with that! Just remember to dress for the weather.

8. Forgiveness

If you accidentally step on your dog’s paw, they may yelp or whimper but it’s quick for them to get over it. Dogs do not hold grudges or let negative feelings fester. Learn from your canine companion and let go of resentment and choose forgiveness.

Our therapy dogs make a difference by sharing smiles and joy. Visit our facilities page to learn more about free therapy dog visits or read about therapy dog certification if you’re interested in becoming a member. We’d love to have you and your dog on the team!