Did you know that pets make great volunteers? All that unconditional love actually makes them perfect for the job, and it also lets the two of you spend more time together. Interested in learning more? Here’s what you need to know. What kind of volunteer work can we do?
Depending on your dog’s personality and manners, there are a lot of options.
In larger cities – and some smaller ones, too – there are races almost every weekend, and many of them allow your dog to run with you. If you’ve got a puppy or a senior – or any dog who isn’t quite up to running a 5K – don’t let that stop you. Just get a stroller like this jogger by IBIYAYA, and your pet can participate without getting overly tired.
Injured animals often need transfusions just like injured people do. Your pet has to meet certain health requirements, but if you’re cleared, it only takes about twenty minutes. It’s safe for your fur baby and could save another pet’s life.
Dogs make great, non-judgmental listeners for kids who are struggling with their reading skills. If you’ve got a couch potato who would love nothing more than curling up for story time, this could be ideal for you.
Hospitals, nursing homes, rehab centers, and other care facilities all over the country look forward to visits from therapy dogs. And it isn’t just because the dogs put the patients in better moods; there are real physical benefits, too. Interacting with a pet can actually reduce anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure. If your pet is well-mannered and loves attention, this could be the perfect volunteer activity for you.
How do I get started?
You can always check around locally, but most organizations that work with pet therapy teams (pet and pet parent) require them to register, successfully complete a training course, and become certified. Therapy Dogs International and Pet Partners are two of the largest and most well-known organizations that do this. They can help you find a training course in your area and even steer you toward rewarding volunteer opportunities.
What kind of equipment do I need?
All therapy pets need a collar or harness and a leash, and some programs might have additional requirements. If you’re visiting the children’s ward in a hospital, for instance, you might be asked to use a pet carrier like this one from IBIYAYA when you’re walking through the general areas. Volunteering with your pet means making a difference in the lives of people in your community, and spending some quality time together while you’re doing it. Why wait?Find out what opportunities are available in your area today.
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