What you need to know about dog therapy (UK)

Are you interested in doing therapy work with your dog but a little (or a lot) confused about how to go about it?

You’re not alone. Every day we receive emails from people just like you who want to make a difference to the lives of others, but don’t know where to begin. This digital guide will give you the facts, provide guidance on the grey areas and help you to understand and communicate with your dog more effectively so that you have the knowledge and understanding needed to confidently step into the world of therapy work.


What you need to know about dog therapy in the UK; Getting started guide

This 36 page digital guide provides you with the key information you need to get started with dog therapy work. Designed to be straightforward to follow, you will learn everything from understanding the specifics around therapy dog certification and the formalities surrounding insurance and risk, to learning how to better understand your dog’s body language and caring for them during their therapy visits. 

This guide will be beneficial to anyone who is interested in engaging in therapy work with their dog, or those who are exploring the potential of getting a puppy or dog with therapy work in mind.

Full contents

1What you need to know about dog therapy in the UK; Getting started guide

  • What is a therapy dog?

  • Understanding the terminology surrounding canine assisted intervention

  • Does my dog need to be certified to become a therapy dog?

  • Routes into therapy work

  • Where do therapy dogs visit?

  • Finding a certified trainer or behaviourist to assess your dog

  • What characteristics are required of a therapy dog?

  • What is your dog trying to tell you (and others)?

  • Signs that your dog may be experiencing stress and anxiety

  • The link between pain and behaviour

  • Caring for your dog during the visit

  • Preparing your dog for their therapy role

  • The serious stuff

  • Insurance

  • Agreement / Memorandum of Understanding

  • Risk assessments

  • Disclosure Barring Service

  • Safeguarding for children and vulnerable people

  • Photographs

  • Additional things to think about

  • Getting started; in summary

  • PLUS a bonus risk assessment template which you can adapt for your specific setting.

  • Accessing the guides

    Once you have completed the secure checkout process, you will create an account allowing you to log in and download the guides at any time. You will also receive an email containing links to the guides. If you do not receive this, please check your junk or spam before contacting [email protected].

    About the author

    Kate Soames is a fully assessed and qualified member of the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers and holds a L6 Graduate Diploma in Applied Animal Behaviour. She regularly engages in continuing professional development to ensure that the knowledge she holds is the most relevant and up to date, as well as challenging pre-existing ideas to constantly evolve and adapt her skills. 

    Kate has been training dogs her whole life and first became interested in therapy work when her grandfather was diagnosed with dementia in 2013. Following on from this, Kate experienced first hand the benefits that dogs have on people in the office environment, and in 2020, she established Moment to Paws to help reduce stress and aid mental health within the workplace. 

    Through her work, Kate has consulted extensively with organisations, schools, care homes and other professionals to develop a thorough understanding of the intricacies surrounding therapy dog work, with a particular focus on canine welfare. 

    Based on her experience, there is a distinct lack of clear guidance available for people in the UK who are interested in dog therapy. It is therefore Kate’s aim to distill all the information she has garnered into a concise and actionable guide to give more people the confidence they need to engage in this life-changing work.  

    What you need to know about dog therapy (UK)
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