Therapy Dogs Inside Funeral Homes

Posted on April 4, 2022 by Karen Reardon under Funeral Home
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funeral homes in Matthews, NC

A best friend is there – through thick and thin – until the end. They listen and empathize without passing judgment. They give comfort during painful times; a warm embrace or shoulder to cry on. They’re selfless, attentive, and reliable. If you’ve ever doubted dogs’ claim to the title of Man’s Best Friend, consider the role of therapy dogs in funeral homes – amazing creatures with expert training and honed senses that exhibit all these qualities and more. Read on to learn more about the increasing trend of therapy dogs inside funeral homes, or contact funeral homes in Matthews, NC to speak with their expert staff to inquire about the possibility of having a therapy dog present at the service for yourself or a loved one.

Funeral homes are increasingly seeking the services of resident therapy dogs to provide consolation to funeral attendees and mourners, and not without reason. The National Funeral Directors Association has confirmed that their use is on the rise, and, according to a survey conducted by the same organization, more than half of survey participants expressed an interest in having a therapy dog present at a funeral service or memorial.

Selection and Training

Though dogs have acted in therapeutic roles for hundreds of years, today’s therapy dogs are different animals than their predecessors. Candidates are selected as pups and screened continuously throughout their long and rigorous training to ensure they possess the required temperament, characteristics, and mental acuity to fulfill their role according to strict standards. The American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen program has ten requirements dogs must exhibit during examinations which are widely used by therapy dog training programs as a baseline when screening potential candidates. These requirements touch on things like how the dog reacts to strangers, how it accepts commands, and how it responds to being led on a leash.

In addition to these requirements, dogs selected to work as therapy dogs in funeral homes must undergo further training specific to the funeral industry. But not every therapy dog is a good candidate for this setting. Funeral home therapy dogs are selected based on their natural energy level and demeanor, and relaxed, calm, confident dogs are favored.

Role and Duties

Funeral home therapy dogs can be utilized in various ways at the request of the bereaved. Most often they will be brought in during funeral or memorial services to interact with guests and visitors. They will tour a room, visiting with any people they find and offering a consoling embrace for those in need.

How They Help

Although no data has been collected related to the effect of therapy dogs in funeral homes, feedback from funeral home customers has been very positive, and the trend has been recognized by the National Funeral Directors Association. Both mourners and funeral directors attest the mere presence of a dog can provide a noticeable positive and calming effect. Very positive results have been observed in interactions between the dogs and children, who oftentimes have a difficult time expressing their feelings or openly mourning after the death of a loved one.

Dogs have been by our side and aiding our survival since the Stone Age, and their amazing capabilities continue tocremation services in Matthews, NC amaze us today. Therapy dogs can provide a beneficial service during difficult times. For more information concerning therapy dogs at funeral services, contact funeral homes who would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

You can learn more about funeral homes in Matthews, NC. Talk to us at Heritage Funeral and Cremation Services to schedule a consultation and learn more about cremation services/funeral home services. Visit our offices in North Carolina or call one of our locations.