Helping Together

About Okanagan Therapy Dog Society

  • Okanagan Dog Therapy Society is a non-profit started by Mya Kondor and Canines & Co. Okanagan Students

  • Okanagan Therapy Dog Society was started to match suitable and well-behaved dogs, their owners and individuals who would benefit from dog therapy visits, for all to enjoy


Benefits of therapy dog visits

  • lowers blood pressure

  • improves cardiovascular health

  •  releases endorphins (oxytocin) that have a calming effect

  • diminishes overall physical pain

  • the act of petting produces an automatic relaxation response, reducing the amount of medication some folks need


For Mental Health

  •  lifts spirits and lessens depression

  • decreases feelings of isolation and alienation

  • encourages communication

  •  provides comfort

  • increases socialization and sense of community

  • reduces boredom

  • decreases anxiety

  • helps children overcome speech and emotional disorders

  • creates motivation for the client to recover faster

  • reduces loneliness


For Literacy

  • o   helps children focus better

  • o   improves literacy skills

  • o   provides a non-stressful, non-judgmental environment

  • o   increases self-confidence

  • o   reduces self-consciousness

  • o   encourages the love of reading specifically and learning in general


In Physical Therapy

  • o   increases joint movement

  • o   improves recovery time

  • o   maintains or increases motor skills

  • o   provides motivation to move more, stretch farther, exercise longer

What is the difference between "Therapy Dogs " and Service Dogs?

  •  A Therapy Dog works with numerous people in a variety of situations. Its obedience training allows it to safely provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and other similar locations.


  • The Therapy Dog’s role is to engage with patients, students and clients and interact with them. A therapy dog may interact by allowing people to pet it, lying on a patient’s bed, listening to children read or doing other things to bring comfort and lower stress levels.


  • The owner/handler is the person who makes visitations with the dog. Therapy Dogs do not have public access unless they are working.

  •  Animal Assisted Service Therapy Dog (not Therapy Dogs) interaction is a goal-directed intervention in which an animal that meets specific criteria becomes an integral part of a treatment process. The treatment is directed and/or delivered by an education, health or human service professional with specialized expertise within the scope of practice of his/her profession.


  •  Okanagan Dog Therapy Society dogs are not Animal Assisted Therapy Dogs or Service Pets

  • Okanagan Dog Therapy Society (ODTS) does not train or provide either Service Pets or Facility Therapy Pets.

What are the Requirements for your Dog to Volunteer with ODTS?

  • You must fill out an Okanagan Therapy Dog Society application form (first page of the Behavior Assessment form)

  • Your dog must be pass an assessment by a local volunteer Veterinarian or volunteer Dog Trainer

  • Your dog must be in good health, have vaccinations and be kept clean before visits

  • Your dog must enjoy affection and not be aggressive to other dogs

What is Involved in the Assessment by  the vet?

  • A local vet will volunteer their time to do an evaluation of your dog at no cost to the volunteer

  • The Assessment will take 10 min

  • You will need to fill out the first page of the application form and bring your vaccination records to the veterinarian

  • The veterinarian will send the complete application form to O.D.T.S

How Old Does My Dog Need to Be?

  • Your dog needs to be 6 months or older

What is Involved in Dog Therapy  Visit?

  • Canines & Co. arranges group visits monthly at various locations such as seniors’ centers.

  • ou are also welcome to visit independently with individuals who would benefit from Dog Therapy visits

  • During visits, you can tell people about your dog, show training tricks, allow individuals to pet and cuddle with your dog, tell you about their interest in dogs and dogs they have had

  • Dogs can sit beside the individuals, be pet, groomed, given treats, catch balls, they can read to the dogs or walk with the dogs

  • if your dogs sheds it's a good idea to bring a special blanket where your dog can sit or lay

How to Become a Member of Okanagan Therapy Dog Society?

  • Please fill out the attached registration form and provide proof of Canine Good Neighbor Certificate.

  •  We at ODTS will then refer you to a local Volunteer Veterinarian who will do the final assessment and ensure you have the required vaccinations.

  • You may then choose to purchase a "Pet Me" bandanna and "Therapy Dog" tag from ODTS. The cost is $25. Helps make it clear your dog is an officially recognized Therapy Dog.

  •  You will also be invited to join an online group and email group to arrange for you to join organized group visits

  • This is a Non-Profit group so your assistance with the society as well as active volunteer time with your dog is appreciated

  • Contact: 

  • Contact: odtsociety@gmail.com