You know that animals have a way of healing and helping humans, especially dogs. There are many different ways you can volunteer with your pup. Consider your dog’s personality and what time of environment they can volunteer in before choosing the best organization for you both. Common places to volunteer include nursing homes, children hospitals, schools and local/city clubs. Before you get started ask yourself a few questions.

Questions: Answer these questions about your dog can help you decide which route you want to take your pup for volunteering:

  • Does your dog like children?
  • Does your dog like large or small groups?
  • Does your dog get along with other dogs?
  • How does your dog react around strange and unfamiliar noises?
  • Does your dog like to be pet?
  • How does your dog do in new environments?
  • What are you dogs strengths?
  • What are your dog’s weaknesses?
  • How long can your dog keep its attention on a task?

Questions you need to ask yourself are:

  • Do you have the time each month?
  • Are you willing to attend training sessions?
  • Are you patient enough to sit for a few hours?
  • Can you handle your dog on and off the leash?
  • Are you comfortable in unfamiliar situations and environments?
  • Are you a people person?
  • Are you able to express gently to someone how to handle your dog?

Once you have chosen the best route for you and your dog contact the organization you wish to volunteer with and speak to them about their different options. Places like hospitals and nursing homes require that your dog go through a temperament test and physical tests to ensure your dog is capable of being in that environment. Some locations have a list of breeds that they do not allow in their facilities, be sure to ask about this list. You can expect the tests to include intensive interacting to figure out if your dog will ultimately be a benefit and safe in the given environment. Once you have passed all the tests, it’s time to commit your time. If you plan on volunteering be sure that you can continually volunteer with your dog. In most cases, the volunteer dogs find much joy out of it and become accustomed to it. So be sure to always allow time in your life to volunteer.

Volunteering is not only helping your dog, the person in need but it helps you. Volunteering is an amazing journey to take with your dog and for yourself. Enjoy it and embrace the changes that it comes with!