Applications are TEMPORARILY SUSPENDEDRecruitment for therapy animals will resume when it is safe to conduct social gatherings and hospital/institutional visits. Please follow our social media accounts for updates.
Applications are temporarily suspendedRecruitment for therapy animals will resume when it is safe to conduct social gatherings and hospital/institutional visits. Please follow our social media accounts for updates.
What is a Dr. Dog?These ‘Canine Consultants’ and their volunteer handlers make regular visits to hospitals, disabled centers, homes for the young and elderly, orphanages and schools. Animal-assisted therapy has been proven to provide significant mental and physical benefits to patients and their families. Because of this, the Dr. Dog Program has helped change the world’s perception of dogs and animals in general.
“I’d like to join the Dr. Dog Program with my dog.”
We’re always on the lookout for recruits! Interested applicants must meet the criteria for both the volunteer handlers and their dogs.
- Must be 18 years old and above
- Must have their own dog
- Must know how to handle their dog
- Must have good “people skills”
- Must be willing to participate in Dr. Dog activities
Dr. Dog Requirements
- Must be at least 2 years old
- Must be healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations
- Must be spayed/neutered
- Must have a happy and placid temperament
- Must know basic obedience skills
- Must pass the Dr. Dog Examination
The Dr. Dog Examination
1. Physical AssessmentAll Dr. Dogs need to be healthy, so they go through a basic health check which includes examining eyes, ears, teeth and skin, and checking for possible areas of pain in the back and hips. Their vaccination records will also be checked, and they will be required to undergo de-sexing if they haven’t yet.
2. Temperament AssessmentOur Dog Behavior Specialist will observe how your dog interacts with you, with strangers and with other dogs. They will also perform rough handling (i.e. pulling their ears and tail, pinching their skin, etc.) to asses their tolerance levels. They will also test their reaction to loud noises and behavior around food and toys.
3. Basic Obedience TestYour dog should know how to walk calmly on a leash and be able to “sit”, “stay” and “come” on command. If they do not know these basic commands, the owner or dog handler should at least be able to exercise control over their dog so that they do not misbehave around other people and dogs.
Do you want to participate in our Dr. Dog Program?
There is no fee to join the PAWS Dr. Dog Program. The assessment is also free of charge. You may only be asked to shoulder the costs of transportation to visit schools and hospitals.
If you are connected with hospitals or other institutions that might benefit from meeting our Dr. Dogs, please get in touch with us.