There are several National organizations registering dogs for therapy work. Our members belong primarily to either Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs Inc. or Alliance of Therapy Dogs (formerly known as Therapy Dogs Inc.). These national volunteer organizations are dedicated to regulating, testing, insuring and registering therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals and wherever else therapy dogs are needed.
All types of dogs are used as therapy dogs. Each national registering organization has its own criteria for training, evaluation and testing.
In order to be considered as a Therapy Dog, a dog must be at least one year old and have a good disposition. Both dog and handler must be willing to go through training, testing and evaluation by a regulating organization. A health record or equivalent form from one of the certifying organizations must be completed and signed by a licensed veterinarian. Dogs must be clean and well groomed for their visits to facilities.