The US is slowly getting back to a semblance of normal, following the global Coronavirus pandemic that shut down many businesses and facilities.
As many public spaces start to reopen, they are seeking support. It’s not just local businesses that need your help; facilities such as hospitals, hospices, care homes, and schools also need assistance.
The Alliance of Therapy Dogs offers support for these facilities by certifying, training, and supporting therapy dogs that can cheer up residents and help to improve their mental wellbeing.
These services are in demand now more than ever, and with good reason. Read on, and we’ll discuss why therapy dogs are so crucial right now and how you can help.
Many Facilities Have Limited Visitors But Still Allow Therapy Dogs
For the safety of their residents, many facilities have limited the number of visitors that can enter, which means that many hospital patients, care home residents, and others are lonely and missing their loves ones.
As therapy dogs from the Alliance of Therapy Dogs are essential, and we follow the CDC’s guidelines, our dogs and their handlers are allowed into many facilities where visitors are not.
Therefore, therapy dogs can make vulnerable people living in these facilities feel less lonely and frightened. Therapy dogs offer comfort and cheer, and can also help to improve the mental wellbeing of residents, and as such, they’re a vital service during these trying times.
Therapy Dogs Can Help Children To Get Back Into Their Normal Routines
Many children have struggled during the Shelter In Place Orders, as they’ve had to stay away from their friends, family, and everything that feels normal.
As schools begin to reopen, and many children return to their usual habits, therapy dogs can help these kids to feel less frightened.
Our Dogs And Handlers Abide By CDC Guidelines
Even as the US starts to reopen, the virus is still prevalent, and without a vaccine, we all must work to slow the spread and keep the most vulnerable members of society safe.
As mentioned earlier in this article, many facilities have reduced the number of visitors that they allow to enter. However, therapy dogs that are certified by us abide by the CDC’s guidelines, and as such, they’re safe to visit most facilities.
Their handlers have had extensive guidance and support so that they can ensure that they and their pet are safe and don’t spread germs to residents in the facilities that they visit.
As such, they are safer than many other visitors, who do not abide by the CDC’s guidelines by wearing masks, washing their hands regularly, and other suggestions that could help us to control the spread of the Coronavirus.
Visits From Therapy Dogs Make Residents Feel Valued
For many residents of care homes, hospices, and health centers who can’t leave their facility, the lockdown has felt like abandonment, as they’ve received fewer visitors.
Vulnerable residents who can’t understand the current situation might feel upset, but therapy dogs can help as they can visit them and show them that they are still loved.
Our handlers often visit the same facility time and time again, and they try to remember the residents and offer them a personal greeting.
Their dogs also remember the residents that love them and give them great cuddles, so they will get excited when they see them and make the resident feel less abandoned and sad.
Therapy Dogs Are A Small Reminder Of Life Before The Pandemic
Visits from therapy dogs feel like a small piece of routine, which is essential during these challenging and ever-changing times.
Everything is up in the air, and there are regular developments and changes, but our therapy dogs will always be there for the facilities and individuals that need them.
How To Help Us
If you want to help us to provide our vital services, then consider becoming a member of our alliance. If you’re already a member and want to do more to support us, then consider becoming a tester or observer, so that we can get more therapy dogs assessed and passed.
All of our volunteers, be they handlers, owners, or just members who donate money and time to our organization, do their bit for the local community and make a massive difference to the lives of many people.
If you have a dog that you feel has the perfect temperament for a therapy dog, then get in touch, and we can talk you through the process of getting your dog certified. We always love to support new therapy dogs and their handlers, and our friendly admin staff can guide you through the whole process.