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WHATAustin Dog Alliance provides training to pet owners and their dogs to visit local nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and other facilities to provide animal assisted activities.
WHYPet Therapy is also known as animal assisted therapy (AAT) and uses trained animals and their handlers to achieve specific physical, social, cognitive, and emotional goals with residents or patients.
WHEREAustin Dog Alliance.
Austin, Texas, USA.

Program Description

"Studies have shown that physical contact with a pet can lower high blood pressure, and improve survival rates for heart attack victims. There is also evidence that petting an animal can cause endorphins to be released. Endorphins are chemicals in the body that suppress the pain response."

"…inclusion of an animal in the life or therapy of a patient can make a major difference in the patient's comfort, progress, and recovery."

With the help of a therapy dog in nursing homes elderly can:

Learn skills such as patient rehabilitation easier or at an improved rate
Encouraged to become more physically active by petting a therapy dog bedside, walking alongside a dog, or playing fetch
Sharpen tactile and motor skills by petting, playing, or feeding the animal.
Be encouraged to communicate more through verbal or physical commands made toward the therapy dog

There are high standards in place for the training of assisted therapy animals and their owners so that residents in long-term care facilities are able to stay safe and have a positive experience. Trained volunteers will learn how to work with nursing home staff, seniors and keep progress. Animals are trained to socialize well with people, other animals, medical equipment and nursing home odors.

All therapy dogs with the Austin Dog Alliance must pass the high standards set by the
“Pet Partners” (Delta Society) organization evaluation.

Austin Dog Alliance also holds the following pet visiting training:

Pet Dog Manners Class - basic pet obedience and manner skills

Six Week Pet Therapy Class - taught by Certified Professional Dog Trainers from the “Pet Partners” organization with extensive pet therapy experience in a wide variety of settings. 
The goal of the six-week pet therapy class is to train pet handlers and dogs how to become confident in challenging situations and to provide tips for handling the ‘human aspects’ of pet therapy. Topics covered include skills such as teaching your dog to sit quietly and properly interact with nursing home residents, how to handle your dog in a hospital room, helping your dog become accustomed to being handled by strangers.





Therapy Pet Pals of Texas Program - Texas, USA. Places trained volunteer pet handlers and pets in healthcare facilities such as nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, State and County facilities and other special needs environments.

Therapy Dogs International Nursing Home Program - Across the USA and areas in Canada. Provides free visits of dogs to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, hospices and other facilities to provide regular animal assisted therapy, an interactive nursing home activity and to give companionship to elderly.

Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program - Program widely available across the United States, Canada, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, and several other countries.
Trains pet owners and pets on how to visit nursing homes, hospice, hospitals, physical therapy centers, long-term care facilities and other facilities to provide animal assisted activities.

Therapy Dogs Inc. Program - Program available across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Territories. Provides registration, support, and insurance for those involved in volunteer animal assisted activities.

Pets on Wheels Program - Fairfax, Virginia, USA. Providing regular animal assisted therapy through pet and dog visits to nursing homes and assisted living by trained volunteers and approved pets.

FriendshipWorks PetPals Program - Boston Massachusetts, USA. Arranges for pets (cats and dogs) and their owners to make friendly visits providing animal assisted therapy to elderly in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

People Animals Love Program - Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. USA.
Certified pet handler volunteers take their pets to visit elderly in nursing homes providing animal assisted therapy.

New Orleans Visiting Pet Program - New Orleans, USA. Animal assisted activity program where volunteer pet handlers and their pets visit nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and other facilities.

Wags for Hope Program - Frederick, Maryland, USA. Volunteer pet handers and their pets visit elderly Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities, Hospitals and Hospice to provide animal assisted therapy.

Intermountain Therapy Animals Program - Utah, USA. Animal Assisted Activity/Therapy teams visit seniors in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Centers, Alzheimer's Care Units, Hospitals, Veterans Hospitals, Hospices, Rehabilitation Centers and many other facilities.

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Find out more about the “Austin Dog Alliance Pet Therapy Training” Program

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