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benefits of therapy dogs

April 8, 2020

Therapy dogs can provide great comfort and support, but in person visits aren’t happening in many places right now because of coronavirus. So, organizations are adapting, helping you get benefits virtually.

“Both dogs love listening to the kids and they love hearing stories and for you to read books to them,” said Kathy Loter, Program Manager at Portland Area Canine Therapy Teams.

The team of therapy dogs typically does 250 to 300 visits a month in person. Now, hundreds of kids and adults have been joining the Facebook live sessions to still have that connection.

“It’s really helpful for families to find something that makes them feel like they’re normal and I think this is one of those things that can do that,” said Loter.

Loter says reading to a dog can build a child’s confidence. She says she’s heard from kids who have participated in the Facebook live about the impact it’s having.

Divine Canines, based in Austin, Texas, is another therapy dog organization taking its visits virtual.

The organization’s executive director says people are loving the novelty of the therapy dogs being in their home virtually. He says they’re trying to have the dogs go virtually to places they visited before.

“Having a visit from a dog, particularly a dog with a trained and certified handler who knows how to keep a conversation going, those things are truly in our opinion helping people feel better,” said Max Woodfin, Executive Director of Divine Canines.

You can get a virtual visit from both Divine Canines and DoveLewis’ therapy dogs anywhere in the country.

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