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WHATVolunteers and therapy dogs make visit to nursing homes, retirement, adult day care centers, and community living Centers.
WHYTherapy dogs in nursing home and hospitals bring a change to a senior's daily routine. Therapy dogs and volunteers are able to contribute to the community by providing seniors with nursing home activities, and unconditional love.
WHEREEast Central Therapy Dog Program.
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

Program Description

"Undeterred by human illness, handicap, disfigurement, confusion or tears, with no prejudice against creed, color, religion or politics, our Therapy Dogs calm the anxious, cheer the lonely, distract the pain-ridden and comfort the despondent. They can coax a smile with the light in their eyes and rekindle happy memories with the wag of a tail; stroking the dog can lower blood pressure, and seeing a dog thread its way through a corridor full of gurneys, drip poles and wheelchairs can restore a sense of balance, of life outside the high tech walls of modern medicine."

All activity assisted therapy dogs are temperament tested before being accepted into the “East Central Therapy Dog” Program. Therapy dogs must be calm and confident in crowded, institutional settings.

An evaluation test is conducted before a therapy dog can be accepted. During the evaluation program representatives simulate a nursing home or hospital environment situation in which a therapy dog is likely to encounter. Therapy dogs and their handlers attend a training session before accompanying an experienced volunteer for the first few visits to their assigned nursing care facility.

Once dogs are in the nursing home they are further assessed on their ability to move around in a safe manner and provide therapy to seniors.

The “East Central Therapy Dog” Program’s liability insurance covers third party liability for clients in case of injury during a therapy dog visit. Any injury to the dog handler or the dog would need to be covered by the individual's personal liability insurance.

The “East Central Therapy Dog” Program also gives presentations on their work providing therapeutic care and animal assisted therapy to seniors.


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.

Terminally Ill & Their Pets
Pets and Seniors Companionship
Service Dogs for Elderly

Find out more about the “East Central Therapy Dog” Program

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