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Introduction to Therapy Dogs Nationwide

Therapy Dogs NationwideTherapy Dogs Nationwide is a national Charity where visiting volunteers take their own dogs into establishments to give comfort, distraction, and stimulation.

Our volunteers have the unique privilege of volunteering with their own temperament tested Therapy Dogs;  some with over 10 years experience and always focused on benefiting people in the community.

The use of animals especially Dogs as therapy is not a new idea. Dogs have been used in the care sector for over 40 years.  Many of our volunteers have their roots with Lesley Scott-Ordish who was a pioneer in visiting by taking your own pet dog to nursing homes.

The benefits of Animal Assisted Therapies (AAT) have been extensively studied and the results range from improvement in general health and wellbeing to increased confidence levels, improved and controlled movement to improved communication skills.

Volunteers and Therapy Dogs work with a wide group of people within the community.  Our work in residential care homes had improved communication in residents and patients by evoking memories and stimulating conversation.

Therapy Dogs Nationwide dogs have also shown to help with special needs and autistic children and adults by giving focus and providing a calming environment.

We regularly visit local hospitals and hospices where patients and staff interact with our dogs and look forward to their visits

We are proud to be part of the Kennel Club Bark and Read Programme.  Many of our dogs visit schools to help children develop their reading skills and build confidence.

Our volunteers also find their visits very rewarding.  More of our work can be seen on our Establishments page.

What We Do


We cover as a volunteer base many different kinds of establishments such as Schools, Special Needs Schools, Hospitals, Hospices, Nursing Homes, Care centres and Prisons.

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Paws and ReadPaws & Read

Our Paws & Read programme in Schools is where we work closely with teachers and parents to encourage children to interact with the Therapy dog by reading them a story.

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Therapy Dogs Nationwide places temperament assessed dogs with their volunteer handlers into Schools and SEN schools under our Paws & Read scheme which is recognised by The Kennel Club.

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‘Bramble’s visits are loved by our residents. A visiting dog brings back many memories to our Care Home residents.  This lovely dog helps them relax and encourages conversation’

(Ashlea, Activities Co-ordinator)

‘Val and Maisie are integral members of our school family. All the children on the ‘Paws and Read’ scheme have met or exceeded their targets and as a result, they have also developed confidence and self-esteem’

(Katy Hill, Headteacher)

‘Charlie doesn’t judge me for why I am in prison, he doesn’t know I have done wrong. I love him and he loves me and I look forward so much to his visits; they make me sad and happy at the same time. He helps me so much

(Female prisoner HMP New Hall)

‘It was lovely to see Harry and Mimi from Therapy Dogs Nationwide on the ward. They brought so much pleasure to the patients who met them. It demonstrated how valuable such visits are, especially to those suffering from dementia’

(Senior Nurse, NHS Hospital)

Aero was heaven sent for us. He helped my son through a very difficult afternoon. Thank you’

(Parent of a hospital patient)

‘The wonderful work done by Therapy Dogs Nationwide and the time and effort the volunteers put in is greatly appreciated by staff and residents

(Officer, HMP Parc)