To get a therapy dog, you must determine the type of dog needed and find a suitable organization. The American Kennel Club has a list of approved organizations. While there usually isn't a cost, therapy dog organizations may have waiting lists or other constraints.
- Determine the type of therapy dog that is needed
Select the type of therapy dog based on your specific needs. You should first consider whether the dog will work with just you or another individual, or if it will work with multiple members in a healthcare facility. Consider factors such as the size of the dog and any state or municipality regulations. When reviewing laws, remember that therapy and service dogs are not the same and may be subject to different rules.
- Find a therapy dog organization
Research local therapy dog organizations through the American Kennel Club. This association maintains a list of recognized therapy organizations across North America. These approved organizations screen both their dogs and volunteers.
- Contact the organization and complete the process
Completing the process of getting a therapy dog varies depending on the organization. Many organizations do not charge fees, but they may have scheduled events or waiting lists, so it is important that you get in touch with them immediately.