Companion Categories: Therapy Dogs

If you have ever seen a dog in a hospital room, you have had an encounter with a therapy dog. Therapy dogs provide comfort and affection to people in institutions such as hospices, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, etc.

Therapy Dogs OPL Dogread

Ahava at the OPL Dogread

Most of us have experienced the calming effects of spending time with dogs, but therapy dogs take it to another level. A 2014 study showed that patientsthat worked with therapy dogs after a joint arthroplasty reported lower pain levels and higher rates of satisfaction with the hospital. A study in 2007 showed that therapy dogs lowered blood pressure and anxiety levels in patients hospitalized for heart failure.

Fun Fact: Therapy dogs like their jobs! A study in Applied Animal Behavior Science determined that dogs working in cancer pediatric wards did not show any signs of increased stress levels. Continue Reading →


Companion Categories: Emotional Support Animals

There is a lot of confusion in the general public surrounding what constitutes an emotional support animal (ESA) and the regulations governing their owners’ rights. ESAs are companions that provide therapeutic benefits to individuals with disabling mental illnesses. The position of an emotional support animal is not reserved to dogs only, although we see them most commonly in this category.

Unlike service dogs, ESAs are Continue Reading →


What makes Healing Companions’ Psychiatric Service Dogs Special and How do they differ from other Service Dogs, Emotional Support and Therapy Dogs?

If you’ve ever wondered why some dogs get to stay in the cabin on planes and some don’t, we’ve got your back with the Healing Companions’ Categories series. In the next couple of posts, we will be talking about the different types of support dogs, their training, roles, and legislation concerning each type. First, let’s talk about the ones we train here at Healing Companions, Inc.: Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSD’s.)

Like other service dogs, PSDs are Continue Reading →


Jane Miller Guest on Positive Pets with MJ

Melissa talks with Jane Miller, about the Healing Companions program.  Jane discussed the many aspects of PSDs and the therapeutic value of the experience for both dog and handler.

They also discussed the prison training program that offers prisoners the opportunity to learn dog training skills they can use to get jobs once they have left prison.


Update on Brian and Colton

Brian and Colton are really learning to work together.

From Brian’s mom after their first night and a recent dental appointment:

“Colton did excellent last night. He slept through the night without a bark or a whine. He used the Bell to go potty this morning and he helped Brian when he was anxious twice yesterday.

Good news today Brian was able to go to the dentist with Colton’s help! I have not made him his own appointment in 6 years. I have made an appointment for myself and then tried to get him to go. and then if he would not go he had to wait another 6 months to my next appointment. I just had my appointment shortly before we got Colton and Brian would not go and I decided to make an appointment just for Brian and risk it. So this was a tremendous accomplishment! I just tell Colton go get him and Colton kissed him until he could leave. Brian was saying he would not go and after a few minutes with Colton’s intervention he was able to leave. I didn’t even have to call my friend to come over. Haven’t been able to get Brian to do the halter yet but he did get the call made for the veterinarian and we have an appointment on Friday.”

We are so proud of them both!

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