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26 Reasons Therapy Dogs Are The Best

They'll melt your heart — and save it!

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1. Therapy dogs have been used for decades to help people cope with stress.

AP Photo/Martha Irvine

2. They might not know what kind they'll be when they grow up, but they start training as early as puphood.

AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger

3. Golden retrievers are often therapy pups because of their calm disposition.


4. And they're pretty smiley, too.

David McNew / Getty Images

5. Other breeds that are smartypants and sweet in nature, like labs, poodles, and German shepherds, also make friendly recovery companions.

Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group / MCT

6. And while they might not all be purebred, they all have one thing in common: a love of people.

David McNew / Getty Images

7. People all over the world benefit from therapy dogs, from São Paulo, Brazil...

Nacho Doce / Reuters

8. Iraq...

Sgt. Stephen Scott / Via

9. ...and Tokyo.

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10. And it doesn't matter if you're young...

Nacho Doce / Reuters

11. ...or a little bit older.

AP Photo/Daily Herald, Mark Welsh

12. Because dogs have been shown to lower your blood pressure and decrease anxiety.

Vicky Kasala/Vicky Kasala

13. Even if you're not sick! More and more colleges bring in therapy dogs to soothe students' nerves during exams.

AP Photo/David Duprey

14. Like this corgi on site at a law school during finals week.

Sam Gangwer/Orange County Register / MCT

15. Sometimes they're needed after natural disasters to keep stressed families company.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

16. And to give rescue workers some love, too.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

17. They help soldiers during the mobilization and demobilization process.

DVIDSHUB / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: dvids

18. They're also called in after violent events like bombings to support survivors or witnesses.

Jared Wickerham / Getty Images

19. Or to help mourners cope after a shooting.

Cloe Poisson/Hartford/Courant / MCT

20. Therapy dogs can also help mediate social interaction of children with autism and boost it for people with dementia.

Arctic Warrior / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: arcticwarrior

21. And sometimes they're deployed during special occasions, like a welcome-home ceremony!

Marc Piscotty / Getty Images

22. Volunteers dedicate countless months to help train pups to bring happiness to others.

AP Photo/The Daily Times, Jon Austria

23. And get the perk of being able to bring them to their own job, too.

Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times / MCT

24. Therapy Dogs International was established in 1976 in New Jersey.

John Moore / Getty Images

25. And as of 2012 about 25,000 dog-and-handler teams were registered.

Senior Airman Brittany Paerschke-O’Brien/Released / Via

26. Here's to you, happiness warriors and volunteers!


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