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Therapy Dogs at the Dentist

Would you benefit from having a therapy dog present with you during treatment?

  • Yes

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • No

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 1 20.0%

  • Total voters
    5
kitkat

kitkat

Super Moderator
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Joined
Mar 27, 2006
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1,548
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United States
I am seeing somewhat of a growing trend where dentists (at least in North America) are starting to utilize therapy dogs in their offices to calm down anxious patients. These dogs are usually emotional support animals that are personally owned by the dentist that go through a training/licensure process. They offer patients the option to have these dogs present with them just at the beginning or throughout treatment depending on preference. There are small dogs that may lay in the patient’s lap and larger dogs that sit on the floor near the patient (in petting distance) or maybe drape their head on the patient’s lap. Do you think this kind of thing would help calm you down? Personally, owning 2 dogs myself, I would absolutely LOVE this option ESPECIALLY in the waiting room. If I had a dog to distract me, I think the majority of my anticipatory anxiety would be gone.
 
G

geos

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
458
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I would have to try to know, so a maybe from me. I know if it’s my parents dog, I would probably be more anxious, but he’s far from a therapy dog.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,686
Location
Minneapolis, MN
I absolutely LOVE dogs.. and cats and love they are doing this... My son actually had a therapy dog for therapy and I would in a hospital.. but something about the dentist I would say no.. even if they were specially trained just because I think the sanitary thing would be sacrificed in my mind. not that it really would be.. but the sensitivity there would make me maybe more anxious... That being said.. in the waiting room would be great! :)
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,462
I have seen an article about a practice near London working with a therapy dog in a way you described and I believe this can be hugely beneficial for many people with anxiety and for those with special needs or kids as well. The thing I do not understand is how those practices make it in terms of hygiene requirements, as @krlovesherkids777 mentioned. In the practice I used to work I was told that even blankets / pillows / stuffed animals would be impossible to provide because of hygiene requirements so I can‘t imagine how it could work with a dog. Would love to learn how those practices manage this side of things.
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2018
Messages
593
I absolutely love dogs, but I think the number of people who are scared of them (I know two adults who are really afraid, plus quite a few children) might make this difficult, as well as the hygiene side of it. (We have a cat, and she pretty much leaves a trail of hair wherever she goes, regardless of how often she's brushed. Imagine trying to keep on top of that in a sterile environment?)
 
C

comfortdentist

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
2,869
Location
Miami, Fl
I've brought in my daughter's maltese a few times and she was well received by my patients. I would like to have one in my office but I don't and after raising 4 children I need a break from responsibility.
 
C

comfortdentist

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
2,869
Location
Miami, Fl
I know of a dentist who loves his dog who is always in his office and one day a lady asked him if he could put his dog in another room so he took out paper and wrote her the name and number of another dentist instead.
 
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