The warmth of touch and affection are often lost when a person is lonely and unable to speak

Try: #let the Care recipient (cr) know in advance that a visitor will be coming with a dog ##tell the cr about the dog’s breed size and name ##emphasize that the dog is coming to visit with the cr ##check the cr’s response if the cr is positive or smiles or nods assume agreement to the visit if there is no response base the plan for the visit on what you know about the cr if the cr responds negatively with a word shaking of the head or a scared look delay or cancel the visit #if the dog is coming with a friend rather than a therapist specializing in pet therapy use the following guidelines ##the visiting dog should be calm friendly to people and have no history of biting or snapping ##the first visit should be 10 to 30 minutes long ##the dog should be five feet away from the cr when the first introduction takes place introduction should include the dog’s name and the fact that the dog is present to see the cr #always ask the cr’s permission to bring the dog closer look for positive or negative non-verbal cues if the cr is positive walk the dog to the front and slightly to the side of the cr for easy petting if the cr doesn’t reach out guide one hand gently to the top of the dog’s head and make small strokes #don’t distract the cr from the dog’s touch and comfort the therapist or owner should keep their hands on the leash and at the side of the dog’s neck and be ready to pull the dog back at any time #make sure the cr cr’s hands are washed thoroughly after touching the dog #repeat visits could yield amazing results

Materials: Dog on a short leash length no longer than 3′ quiet room chair with space at the front and sides of the chair dog owner or therapist

Categories: Emotional Psychological, Social, Mobility, Needs Some Assistance, Needs Much Assistance, Immobile, Some Supervision, Maximum Supervision, Poor Verbal Comm, Cognitive Awareness, Fully Aware, Somewhat Aware

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*This information is listed as a Tip and is not explicitly medically licensed

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