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Guidelines for Caring Canines Therapy Dog Club Dogs



  • A Therapy Dog must be at least one year old.


  • A Therapy Dog must be current with rabies vaccination.  Vaccination records will be collected by CCTDC and kept on file. Note that if you volunteer with RRMC you will be required to have annual exam, stool check and any vaccinations required by the state of Vermont.


  • Dogs must have a physical exam and stool check annually.


  • Female dogs must not be in season when doing Therapy Dog work.


  • Dogs who do not feel well (i.e., diarrhea, itchy ears, or other signs of impending illness) should not participate in Therapy Dog work until well again.


  • Dogs must be on leashes that are 4 feet long or less.  Please note that “flexi leads” and chain leashes are not acceptable.  Harnesses, including “no-pull” harnesses, are acceptable.


  • Prong or pinch (choke) collars are not permitted.


  • Dogs must NEVER be let off leash.


  • Dogs must be clean, well groomed, and free of fleas.  Toenails should be short.


  • Dogs must not be treated with oily flea treatments within one week of a visit.  The residue could be transferred to a client while petting.


  • While Therapy Dog vests are not mandatory, we encourage all members to utilize them while on visits.  It identifies your dog as a working Therapy Dog and not just a “pet” visiting a facility.  In addition, many dogs recognize their vests as a sign that it is “time to go to work” and adjust their behavior accordingly.


  • Dogs should never get on a bed, lap, etc. unless invited by the client.  Never let your dog “kiss” a resident or wound.


  • Therapy dog Teams must conduct themselves in a professional, orderly fashion.  Do not allow your dog to play or roughhouse with other dogs while on therapy dog visits.

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