Do Therapy dogs earn money?

Do Therapy dogs earn money?

Yes, it is definitely possible for you to earn money from therapy dogs. In this article we will learn what therapy dogs are and what they do? We will then understand the certification and licensure needed to be a therapy dog handler. And lastly, we will learn which therapy dogs are well suited for the profession as well as the kind of work they can opt for. 

Do you have a calm pet who enjoys cuddling with people? You may now enrol them as a therapy animal and aid folks who are suffering from worry and stress. 

What are therapy dogs?

Therapy dogs are dogs who go with their owners to volunteer in settings such as schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. Therapy dogs and their owners work together to better the lives of others, whether it’s working with a youngster learning to read or visiting a senior in an assisted care facility.

Dogs make fantastic therapy dogs because they enjoy human contact, which is why it’s very important to make sure you properly train yours. Their friendliness and temperament make them great for the job, as that way people will be more inclined to approach a dog rather than a human when they need support or encouragement! 

It’s also crucial that your therapy dog works well with different environments because you never know where you might find yourself giving support!

Therapy dogs are not service dogs, which perform a specialised service for a person with a disability and are allowed full access to the public under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

They’re also not emotional support animals, which require a prescription from a mental health or health care practitioner but don’t require any specific training or certification to perform their duties.

Can any dog be a therapy dog? 

Therapy dogs bring physical benefits to the humans they visit. They may help lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduce patient anxiety or pain, increase endorphin and oxytocin levels, and provide a general sense of well-being. 

However this is not a one-sided relationship: research has shown that therapy dogs also benefit from engaging in this type of work and often gain quite a few perks out of it too, such as an increased sense of mental stimulation through reading their “patients” and helping them feel at ease amongst others, more fresh air and space to move around in after being cooped up for so long in whatever hospital they call home or someone else’s house when not on duty.

“Therapy dogs go out to hospitals, nursing homes, libraries, schools, disasters. Essentially any venue where a clientele exists and it would be helpful for the dogs to be there,” says Linda Keehn, CPDT-KA, therapy dog trainer, evaluator, and handler, and owner of Positive Canine Training and Services in New York.

Before you venture into the field of animal therapy be sure to have the proper licensing or certification. A number of organizations exist where you can prepare and register so as to work in places where people bring their dogs to perform a service.

You don’t necessarily have to have a therapy pet – you can go for a cat, chicken, pig, or just about any mammal or bird as long as it’s well behaved. This type of animal is called an animal companion in the business world. 

The Delta Society ( is one of the most prestigious organizations in this field but there are plenty of other respectable pet associations that specialize in these specific services no matter where you’re located.

Therapy dogs must:

  • Be well-tempered
  • Be comfortable in a busy or stressful environment
  • Not shed excessively
  • Love to cheer others up
  • Be well-socialized

A good therapy dog must be friendly, confident, gentle in all situations and must be comfortable and content with being petted and handled, sometimes clumsily.

Additionally, the dog must possess the ability to be lifted or assisted onto an individual’s lap or bed, and must also be able to sit or lie comfortably there.

What are the different types of therapy dogs? 

Therapeutic dogs 

There are no age limits to dog ownership, and it can be just as enjoyable for children as it is for adults. Dogs provide unconditional love and happiness to all their owners and can often give sick or elderly people something to look forward to every day.

Due to physical or mental illness, incarceration, or a court order, many of the persons in such locations are unable to return home. A visit from a therapy dog can help improve moods, relieve tension, worry, and sadness, and inspire individuals by offering affection for many of these people.

Animal Assisted Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs with animal assistance aid physical and occupational therapists in achieving crucial goals for a person’s physical or mental recovery. Animal-assisted therapy dogs are increasingly common in physical rehabilitation facilities. Popular tasks include helping patients regain limb motion, fine motor skills or regaining pet care skills for their personal pets.

Facility therapy dogs

Facility therapy dogs assist staff members at nursing homes, children’s facilities and similar places – to name a few – by bringing comfort and joy to those staying there. These adorable canines often come from a specially trained facility that provides these services, including a home for the dog that accompanies you on site. These therapy dogs are not to be confused with emasculation dogs because they don’t have anything to do with castration as those types of dogs are referred to as gelding dogs.

Reading Therapy Dogs

Reading therapy dogs are helping to transform struggling readers into confident learners. These specially trained pets are listed as an acceptable behavior modification resource for students with disabilities through the US Department of Education – Office of Special Education Programs website.

Many children who aren’t confident readers can greatly benefit from canine companionship. By reading out loud to dogs, children learn to read with confidence. Not only does this help with their reading comprehension skills but also their public speaking habits. Reading therapy dogs are trained explicitly to maintain eye contact with kids, listen attentively, give positive reinforcement for reading along and maintain a calm temperament.

Reading therapy dogs not only help children feel more comfortable and confident when reading, but they also help students become excited about practicing his or her reading skills.

Disaster Relief Dogs

Many people don’t realize that just like dogs that help with psychological and physical healing, Disaster relief dogs and their handlers provide support to those affected by traumatic and violent experiences.

Disaster relief dogs have also helped provide solace to victims of terrorist attacks, such as the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 9/11 attacks, and the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, CT.

How do I sign my dog up? 

If you want to list your animal, all you have to do is ensure your pet meets the requirements and wait for someone to book them. Your pet could even earn up to £50 an hour for their time, too. 

If your dog is good at soothing people, this new service might be a terrific way for them to meet new people. There are a few things to consider before expressing your interest:

  • When participating in a therapy session, the owner must always be present with the pet.
  • The comfort pet and its owner should meet with participants before the session to agree on what will be addressed in the session and to ensure the pet is comfortable in the atmosphere.
  • They must be able to demonstrate that they have full control over their pet at all times.

Small dogs are especially well-suited for therapy since they may readily be lifted onto a person’s hospital bed or held in the patient’s arms. When it comes to choosing a therapy dog for your pet therapy program, the main consideration should be the animal’s personality and whether or not he can be trained easily to follow commands. 

A good pet therapy program dog must have a calm demeanor and be amenable to being touched by strangers because these types of animals are unrestrictedly affectionate towards unfamiliar people.

Popular therapy dog breeds: 

  • Chihuahua
  • Corgi
  • Golden Retriever
  • French Bulldog
  • Pug
  • Labrador Retriever
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Dachshund
  • Poodle
  • Bichon Frise
  • Beagle
  • Yorkie


Throughout the decades, numerous medical experts have used dogs as a therapeutic resource. Small dogs helped children and adults in mental facilities reduce anxiety and promote rehabilitation, according to Florence Nightingale in the late 1800s. 

Sigmund Freud began utilizing his own pet dog to improve communication with his psychiatric patients in the 1930s. More recently, Elaine Smith established the first therapy dog organization in 1976 after observing positive effects of dogs on hospital patients during her work as a registered nurse.

Training a therapy dog can lead to new experiences for both dog and owner. The dog’s world opens up, and as a pair, you’re helping out your community. So go ahead and start your new job! As an animal therapist, the sky’s the limit in terms of how much money you can make.

 Teach youngsters how to swim with a friendly dog, or make a scared child feel secure around dogs. Charge for your services and provide dog bite prevention programmes at day camps and daycare institutions. The presence of a suitable therapy dog would substantially enhance almost any service you may provide.

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