Skip to main content

See also:

Taking your dog from a pet to a therapy animal

Simple training can make your dog  a therapy dog in no time.
Simple training can make your dog a therapy dog in no time.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Many people have thought about taking their dogs from a pet to a therapy dog. The idea of bringing joy to seniors, children, and others in need leaves many pet owners wondering what it takes for a dog to become a therapy animal. All it takes it hard work from both the owner and pet.

There are several requirements set for therapy dogs. First, the dog has to have basic obedience. Petfinder lists this as sit, stay, down, stand and the ability to walk on a loose lead. Of course, it isn't that easy. A dog needs to be desensitized to various stimuli and handling. One of the most important factors is socialization.

A dog needs to be socialized with various types of people as well as other animals. They need to have a calm demeanor in all situations. This calm demeanor often comes from the obedience training and necessary socialization.

The final process is to become certified. In order to become certified, there is a test that needs to be passed. This test covers all of the various requirements above and more. For more information on how to make your dog a therapy animal, visit Petfinder.com or visit Petsmart locations that include a training center.