Do you have a loving and well trained dog that you think others would benefit from being around? There are many dog breeds that are perfect for helping put smiles on a variety of different faces. If you dog is one of those dogs that is simply irresistible you might want to consider sharing him with those that find themselves in assisted living situations, rehab centers or even nursing homes.
Volunteering to share your dog with those who are elderly not only is a wonderful way to give back to the community it is also a way for your dog to bring joy and even better health to those in need. It is proven that pets will lower a person's blood pressure. Pets also have the ability to relieve tension, help with someone who is lonely as well as depressed.
If this sounds like a perfect thing for you and your dog to get involved with, you can begin by calling around to all the different rehab centers, assisted living homes and nursing homes to see if any of them are open to you coming in and volunteering both you and your dogs time to put some much needed smiles on some people's faces.
Once you have a list of places that have given you permission to come visit with your dog, the first thing you should do is simply go from room after room letting those who are able to get to know your dog by petting him. This might be all they need to make their day because you and your dog might be the only visitors they get during the day besides those who work there.
If there are patients or residents there who are ambulatory feel free to ask them if they would like to walk around with your dog and you around the facility or even go outside on the property for a walk. Make sure that you even offer to let them hold his leash as you go for a walk.
Another thing you can do is see if you can get some of your friends together who have well trained dogs and try to put together a little dog show that you can then present to a group of residents for their entertainment. A lot of seniors truly enjoy watching dogs perform their tricks and it will help them open up to share their own stories about pets that they once owned.
If your dog is a smaller dog why not talk to those seniors who love to knit and or crochet and see if they wouldn't mind making your dog a sweater. This not only gives them something to do but it makes them feel like they are still needed for something. After they are done with the sweater you can give them the honor of giving it to your dog and putting it on him.
If you do decide that this is truly something you would like to do, it is probably a good idea if you visit the different facilities first, without your dog. This will give you some idea of what the people are like and see if they will really like to be able to get to know your dog. Because you want to make sure that the resident is willing to interact with your furry companion before you let your dog get close to them.