What about Pet Allergies and Fears with Therapy Dog?

pet allergies

Pet allergies are a concern as well as pet fears. I had originally intended to go with a golden doodle for this very reason. It was always the general plan, but then my golden retriever, Spencer, of 12 years died.  That plan went out the window when I had an opportunity to get a dog related to Spencer. Derby is his great nephew.  It was a good opportunity for my daughter to see where Spencer came from and meet his “family” members. It was totally an emotional decision.

golden retriever
Spencer loved swimming!


So I have Derby. He is not a doodle.  He’s a very furry golden retriever puppy… what I am to do to help with pet allergies?

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5  Things To Do for Pet Allergies

1.  Groom Your Pet

I plan on washing Derby weekly to help with the dander and allergens that may affect some of my client with pet allergies.  Between baths, a daily wipe down will help with these handy wipes here will help control dander.  Daily brushing will also be part of the routine to control dander and allergens

2.  Vacuuming Often

Vacuuming is not my favorite job, but it’ll have to be done daily when Derby is in the office to help clients with pet allergies.  Frequently cleaning keeps the dander and allergens from piling up and affecting people.  I currently have this vacuum that I use at home and plan to get one for the office when Derby starts coming.  It’s pricey, but I have been happy with it.

3.  Dog-free Scheduling

Derby is only a useful therapy tool if he’s helpful.  He will not be used with every client for a variety of reasons, and one reason will be pet allergies.  I plan to schedule days for clients that are allergic and not bring Derby to the office on those days.

4.  Dog-free Zones

It makes sense to limit Derby to only certain areas of the office like my room and the kitchen area across  the hallway.  He will not be allowed in the waiting room or the restroom.  Derby is a therapy dog, and not a service dog with legal rights as I talked about in this post here.  So removing him makes more sense for the comfort of my clients with pet allergies.

5.  Hand Washing

Last but not least is hand-washing.  This will help limit the spread of dander and allergens when people touch their face.   It will also help limit the spread of other germs as well- win/win.


Dog Fears

Many adults and children are afraid of dogs.  People may have had a bad or scary experience with a dog.  People may have limited exposure to dogs and feel nervous around them.  Some cultures have a different view of dogs.  As with my clients who have allergies, clients and their parents with dog fears will be respected as well.  They will have the option of scheduling on days when Derby is not in the office or Derby will be left to rest in the kitchen across from my office.  As a therapy dog, Derby is an additional tool to work on my clients goals and foster communication.

I’m extremely lucky to share an office with a psychologist.  She is also raising her dog to be a therapy dog.  I will refer to her expertise if someone would like to learn to cope with their fear of dogs.  I am not trained to help facilitate that goal.  Tell me what you have experiences with pet allergies and fears!!



This post contains affiliate links.  See Disclaimer here.


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