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How Therapy Dogs Bring Comfort in Grief

At Baldwin Brothers Funeral & Cremation Society in Orlando, Ormond Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Ocala, The Villages, Fort Myers and other Florida areas, we are proud of our legacy in helping families in Florida through the most difficult times of their lives. In addition to online cremation services, we provide education for those who need to get through the grieving process. 

Therapy dogs are a relatively new consideration in funeral planning, but one that should be considered if you, close friends, or family members are having an especially hard time understanding the death of a loved one at a funeral service. Learn more about therapy dogs and their positive impact by reading the following information. 

Therapy Dogs Help Manage Emotions 

When grieving individuals feel overwhelmed, therapy dogs provide comfort while coping with loss. Spending time with dogs has been proven to increase serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which can relieve people of anxiety. Petting a dog also lowers blood pressure and stress levels. 

Therapy dogs are thoroughly trained to watch for signs of stress and then respond in a timely manner. For instance, a therapy dog knows how to spot a grieving person and will come sit or stand quietly by your side and patiently wait for a response. They may also rest their head on your lap, legs, or shoulders and act as a companion to help ease your pain and improve your overall mental health. 

Therapy Dogs and Children 

At a funeral service, therapy dogs have a positive impact on those who may be uncomfortable expressing their feelings, including young children. Children who have not been exposed to death may not want to discuss their feelings with adults, which is why a therapy dog can be an appropriate solution. They give children the support they need and someone to talk to during a confusing and difficult time. 

Bringing a Therapy Dog to a Funeral Service 

It’s important to remember that a trained therapy dog should be able to sit in place as requested, follow directions when required, and show no signs of stress themselves. They must be able to work off-leash or on-leash and behave in a quiet setting. When considering a therapy dog, keep in mind that there should be a consideration for funeral guests who may have allergies or are afraid of dogs. To make sure everyone is comfortable, ask members of the family in advance if they would like to have a therapy dog present. You may want to get a small sign that states something to the effect of “A therapy dog is present at this service. Please inform us if you are not comfortable with dogs.” If the dog is handled by a visiting volunteer, be sure to let them know in advance where to take the dog when it needs a short break and where it can relieve itself.

Baldwin Brothers Funeral & Cremation Society in Ormond Beach, Orlando, New Smyrna Beach, Ocala, The Villages, Fort Myers and other Florida area is staffed by experienced and caring professionals to get you through this difficult time. No matter the type of funeral service you choose, we have the privilege of working with thousands of individuals in their time of need. If you would like more information on cremation services and more across the state of Florida, reach out to a member of our team to get the process started.