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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Maire

Learn More about Therapy Dogs in Utah for Mental Health

The Benefits of Therapy with a Therapy Dog

Studies have shown that therapy dogs can help people feel less anxiety and depression and it can improve your mood. A lot of people who go to therapy struggle with all of those and having a dog present can make a big difference for them. There is also evidence that suggests that having a therapy dog present can improve social skills and make people more willing to talk openly, both of which are important for people in therapy.

The benefits of a therapy dog are even greater for children. Children who have experienced difficult family situations tend to feel safer talking to a dog than to an adult. Children can also develop strong emotional bonds with dogs and seeing the same dog each week in therapy can help them to feel more companionship and feel safer in therapy.

Typical Breeds of Therapy Dogs

There are a few breeds of dogs which are commonly used as therapy dogs. Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, and German Shepherds are often used but there are many other kinds of dogs frequently used. The important characteristics of therapy dogs are that they can be calm and good around new people.

Therapy dogs are normally trained for their role so that they can be good around the people they are helping. Most of the time the dog must be an adult or at least 1 year old in order to be trained as a therapy dog.

Therapy Dogs in Utah

If you are looking for a therapy practice with a therapy dog in Utah then consider Xenia. Our therapy dog, Maggie, is great with kids and adults. Maggie is a three year old sheepadoodle who is trained to come and say hello at the start of a session before going to sit in a designated space in the room. Most of the time she will stay there just as a calming presence, but if she notices the client in the room is getting emotional then she will come lean up next to them. Clients are also able to ask her to come over and sit next to them when they want and she will come do that.

At Xenia Counseling we are open to finding the right kind of therapy for you. Whether that means having a therapy dog there for you or trying out other options like neurofeedback, we want to help our clients find the happiness and peace of mind they need. Don’t wait to start working on your mental health, schedule an appointment with one of our therapists today if you need help.

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