Becoming a Therapy Dog volunteer seems relatively easy. The dog must be well-behaved and maintain a calm, relaxed form when confronted by such things as IV poles, wheelchairs, other dogs, children, loud sounds, etc. But before you get started, there’s something you need to know…In Canada, many organizations do not allow raw-fed dogs to participate in the Therapy Dog Volunteer programs. The reason: According to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, raw-fed dogs are more likely to transfer harmful bacteria to persons with compromised immune systems than kibble-fed dogs.
Now, this has been under debate for some time, but the fact remains that because therapy dogs most often interact closely with people whose immune systems are compromised [e.g. people undergoing chemotherapy, the elderly, etc.], they cannot be raw-fed.
So, if you’re considering getting Fido certified as a Therapy Animal, make sure you get as much information as you possibly can about what is and isn’t accepted by the organizations you’re interested in working with. If you take the time to inform yourself now, you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration down the road, when you and Fido are finally ready to go to work.
Have a great day, and remember to stay calm and lead on.