Pet therapy

  1. Hi!
    I was wondering if there was some information out there that could help me. A couple of co-workers of mine have brought their puppies to work in hopes to one day train them as therapy dogs. I work in the long term care unit of a seniors village. I am all "for" pet therapy especially therapy dogs. I saw what kind of effect the puppies have on the residents in the long term care unit. I find this so exciting and I want to encourage it. There has been some contraversy over this and some staff have complained about the puppies. I think that is the situation were well under control, there shouldn't be a problem.
    I wanted my own dog to be a therapy dog but, she barks at wheelchairs and motorized scooters. So, I know my own dog wont be going to work with me. I am so happy for my coworkers and their opportunity and their puppies. I want this to work out. What should I do to encourage the facility to use therapy dogs and what do I need to do to make sure this works out? Can nursing and pet therapy work? The other dog belongs to the activationist which is appropriate. One of the puppies belongs to an RPN.
    Any advice, pro's and cons would be greatly appreciated. I'm thinking that i will have to take the initiative and do the research and develop a draft policy to ensure the implementation of this new venture!

    Thanks in advance!
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    About nurse_clown

    Joined: Aug '05; Posts: 232; Likes: 48
    RN- Oncology/Palliative Care


  3. by   PICUPNP
    My wife speaks nationally on Animal Assisted Therapy and would be happy to share her expertise. You can send me a private message.
    Last edit by sirI on May 4, '09
  4. by   elkpark
    I work in a mental health hospital that has a pet therapy program. It's important that the animals involved be trained/certified as therapy dogs; I would have a real problem with people just bringing their dogs in from home. There's no "on the job training" for therapy dogs! (There are also health/hygiene concerns.) Does management know that your coworkers are doing this??
  5. by   nurse_clown
    How did your hospital implement the pet therapy program? How is the program run? Do you know of any links that I could access to find out more about developing a pet therapy program for our nursing home? To me, it's not an "idea." Our activationist has brought her therapy dog for years. Yes, management knows that certain staff have brought in their dogs. A lot of the staff are dog lovers but, only two staff have permission to bring their dogs.
    There are no "pet therapy" certification programs in our region so for now, there is only "on the job training" for the puppies. It would be helpful to know what the rules and regulations are so, we can follow them and have a recognized certified pet therapy program.
  6. by   elkpark
    I don't know a lot of the details myself, but here is a link to the pet therapy page on the website of "my" hospital system. It includes a telephone number for more info, and I'm sure that whoever answers those telephone calls could give you more information about the national organization(s) and how to contact them.
  7. by   pers
    Have you tried looking at the pet end for information? Delta Society, Therapy Dogs Inc., and Therapy Dogs International are three organizations that may be able to help you with implementing a program.
  8. by   MiniDachshund<3er
    I currently volunteer at a local children's hospital (and an adult care hospital) with my dog. He is a registered and certified pet therapy dog. There was quite a bit of work that goes into it. Aside from getting the dog certified there are rules and standards set forth by the department of health. The animals need to be tested for MRSA and show proof annually of vaccines, re-certification as a pet therapy dog, and MRSA testing. At these facilities, you cannot just bring your dog to work with you.
  9. by   MiniDachshund<3er
    Also, the company I certified through is called Therapy Dogs International. There are 2 companies that the local hospitals accept therapy dog certification through... atleast here.
  10. by   Jules A
    If I am ever hospitalized or have to have LTC I pray there will be some animals around to warm my bed. Thank you to those that share your furbabies with others.