Reading: A Form Of Pet Therapy

March 6, 2017 | We Learn | Story by Ashley McLeod
My dog Stormy is a pet therapy dog. Occasionally we will go to hospitals to help stroke patients regain their dexterity by brushing or playing with him, occasionally we will do a de-stressing session at the local college at finals time. But most of the time, kids read to him.

This isn’t something people think of when they hear the words “pet therapy,” but I can assure you it’s just as important.

There are many reasons a child has troublea learning to read, and local libraries do their best. Not every library has a READ (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) program, though. I suggest you contact your local library to see if they do.

In the program, children with reading difficulties read to dogs. Dogs are patient and do not judge, so the kids feel more comfortable reading to them. This builds their self-esteem and they begin associate reading with something pleasant.

“This builds their self-esteem and they begin associate reading with something pleasant.”

It may not be as noble as taking him to hospital patients, sure, but I’m a strong advocate of getting kids excited for reading. Confident readers make a better future for us all.

Do you have a calm, patient, and people-friendly dog? Perhaps you should look into training them to be a pet therapy animal. You’d be helping so many people in so many ways. No matter how big or little, you’d be doing good for your community.

Bequest via Pixabay

If you enjoyed this post, you should read “How To Introduce A Baby To Your Pup” here.

Have you ever tried reading therapy with your pup? Share below!

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