top of page

Our definition of pet therapy is


‘A partnership between a consenting therapy dog and its compassionate owner, to improve the wellness of themselves and others, through human-animal engagements’.

A breakdown of our definition of pet therapy.

1. Partnership

Is the bond between the therapy dog and its owner, who accepts their dog as a unique sentient being, deserving of respect and dignified treatment. ​


2. Consenting

Is where the therapy dog demonstrates a willingness, with full and free choice, to engage, with the freedom to walk away if they choose.


3. Therapy dog

Is a companion dog that has passed a temperament evaluation with Cariad Pet Therapy.

4. Compassionate owner

Is the person that owns the therapy dog and has a frame of mind to treat others kindly, with empathy and understanding.

5. Improve the wellness of themselves and others

Is when the engagement has wellness benefits for everyone: the owner, the therapy dog and those receiving visits.


6. Through Human-Animal engagements

Is providing visitations between humans and dogs that elicit lasting emotional, social, physical and physiological benefits.

20 Benefits of a therapy dog visit

1. Makes people smile

2. Provides staff wellbeing and helps with recruitment and retention

3. Reduces stress and anxiety

4. A distraction from difficult news/events

5. Lowers blood pressure

6. A non-judgemental presence

7. Reduces loneliness and social isolation in the elderly

8. Improves mood and provides comfort

9. Increases feel good hormone

10. Mutual benefit to dog and volunteer

11. Connects children with their curriculum, peers and teachers

12. Provides a sense of normality in healthcare settings

13. Promotes physical activity and motivation

14. A perfect icebreaker

15. Helps with reminiscence in dementia patients

16. Assists engagement during group therapy

17. Enables a safe channel for communication

18. Can be long lasting in its impact on wellbeing

19. Improves self-worth, self-esteem and can aide self-reflection

20. Helps children with oracy and literacy by reading to the dog

bottom of page