Ottawa Therapy Dogs' programs are based on standards of practice widely acknowledged and accepted by therapy animal service provider organizations throughout North America. OTD's Board of Directors consults widely to develop our policies and standards in order to ensure the safety of our therapy dog teams—both the handler and the dog—and the people they visit.
OTD offers both Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) and Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT):
Animal Assisted Activities include the now well-known pet visits. We go to facilities where residents or clients can benefit from the therapeutic effects of human-animal interactions. Studies have demonstrated that these visits can lead to decreased blood pressure, lowered pulse and breathing rates, and increased appetite, among other benefits. These visits can be one-to-one visits, or group visits by one team or a maximum of two teams in a given visiting session. [more...]
Animal Assisted Therapy is lead by a health-care professional with a client for a goal as determined by the health personnel in consultation with the Therapy Dog Handler. The outcome of the session is documented in the file or chart. Health-care professionals involving AAT in their practices include occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists, speech language pathologists, recreation therapists, and RNs. Goals vary, depending on the discipline. Ottawa Therapy Dog teams work with all these professions in varying sites which include acute care hospitals, chronic care and rehab hospitals, long-term care facilites, retirement homes, plus assorted day programs which target various populations and their specific needs. [more...]
A specialized AAT program offered by Ottawa Therapy Dogs is R.E.A.D.® — Reading Education Assistance Dogs. OTD's R.E.A.D. teams work in school or library settings to help improve children's reading abilities. Learn more about R.E.A.D.