Practitioners Corner

Phyllis Erdman1, Amy Johnson2 & Lynette Arnason Hart3

1College of Education, Washington State University
2Director Center for Human Animal Interventions and Director of the Animal Assisted Therapy Certificate Program, Oakland University
3UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dept. of Population Health and Reproduction

Incorporating a therapy dog into your practice: Some considerations

As science begins to support what we have long intuitively known, that human-animal interactions offer numerous benefits, animal-assisted interventions (AAIs) are becoming increasingly popular. Unfortunately, with the rapid growth of AAIs, many clinicians who include animals lack sufficient knowledge and/or experience in animal behavior and welfare to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all those involved (e.g., the animal, the client, and the clinician). The purpose of this article is to help elucidate some of the complexity involved with integrating dogs into clinical practice so that clinicians can more easily learn to identify, and successfully mitigate, potentially challenging or even injurious situations.

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Keywords: therapy dog
Posted in 2020, Volume 8, No. 1