Happiness Dogs supported by Royal Canin was launched in August 2021, with the aim of giving all children the chance to experience animal assisted intervention / therapy and the human – animal bond.
Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is the use of animals in association with other medical treatment modalities to improve results.
Contact with animals can help children and young adults to build rapport and encourage social interaction, increase self-esteem and motivation, and assist with focus and attention span.
Our visits are tailored to the children we are working with and the teacher/ therapist in the session. We have worked in speech and occupational therapy settings where children have spoken to the dog, practiced with flash cards and words. With physical therapy we always have a longline lead for the children to hold in addition to the handler, so we can go for a walk or practice manual grip with brushing and grasping the lead.
Working with children of varying verbal ability, we have noted an increase in interaction and language spoken around the dogs, as well as retelling after the sessions.
and pet passport.
Since our launch we've delivered sessions at Al Jalila Children's Hospital, The Developing Child Centre, Jad's Inclusion, The Special Needs Future Development Centre and Rashid Centre for People of Determination.