Therapy dogs provide a therapeutic presence to those in high-stress environments like hospitals and courtrooms. They do not have access rights and must be invited to hospitals, courtrooms, schools, etc.
Therapy dogs generally do not serve just one person. Instead, they are well-trained animals that visit patients in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, rehabilitation centers and other facilities and institutions.
They are usually calm and have a deep love of people. What’s more, some train to work alongside therapists in clinical settings to offer comfort to patients in mental health facilities. Unlike service dogs who must only focus on their owner, therapy dogs are capable of socializing with many people while they are on-duty.
Therapy dogs do not have any more access to public places than regular pets. Prior to entering a nursing home, hospital or any other facility, the dog’s handler must get permission. In addition, therapy dogs cannot join their owners on flights for free. Furthermore, they cannot live in housing that does not allow pets.
Select the right Assistance Animal for you
In short, emotional support dogs offer support to their owners through companionship and can fly and live with their owners. On the other hand, service dogs go through special training to help people with disabilities and can go everywhere with their owners. Finally, therapy dogs are trained to provide affection and comfort to people in facilities like hospitals and nursing homes. Differentiating between emotional support dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs is not a matter of semantics. It has more to do with their roles, their rights to access certain areas, and the training they must receive. What they have in common is that each of these animals plays a unique role in improving the lives of humans. Understanding these differences ensures that all these animals get proper treatment.
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