Being a Pet Therapy Team
You may have very friendly pet that you want to share with others. It is great that you feel that way. Current teams will tell you that it’s definitely worth the hard work, as you and your pet (not to mention those receiving the therapy) will truly enjoy being of service together to others.
You can offer your Pet Therapy services as much or little as your schedule allows (however your registering organization may have a minimum required). Some teams are busy every weekend and some weekdays, while others as little as once a month.
Steps to Becoming a Pet Therapy Team
In general, you need to complete the following steps to become an effective Pet Therapy team.
- Animal training – your pet is reliable, friendly, and well behaved.
- Human training – you know how to manage your pet and interact with people in therapy situations.
- Team evaluation – demonstrate you and your pet are ready for registration.
- Veterinarian check-up – be sure your pet is healthy.
- Registration – your team is accepted by a registration organization.
Benefits of Registration
We think it is essential that you become registered with a national Pet Therapy organization. They can provide you with:
- liability insurance
- identification for you and your pet
- access to licensed instructors
- referrals to organizations looking for pet therapy services
If you are not registered and are offering pet therapy services, you may be banned from many organizations and facilities and bear the burden of liability yourself.
Register with National Pet Therapy Organizations
There are 3 organizations that register Pet Therapy Teams. They have slightly different requirements for teams to become registered and benefits of registration. However, all require some form of evaluation of your team to be sure you are ready to provide pet therapy services.
These are listed below in no particular order, and you can obtain their information from their websites:
- Pet Partners: www.petpartners.org
- Alliance of Therapy Dogs (formerly Therapy Dogs Incorporated): www.therapydogs.com
- Therapy Dogs International: www.tdi-dog.org