Past research has shown that interacting with an affectionate dog can reduce stress and anxiety, and improve mood. These sessions offer even employees a chance to interact with dogs, volunteers and other staff in a relaxing setting. (Read about the research on the impact therapy dogs are making at the University of British Columbia - UBC). The City of Surrey has invited Vancouver ecoVillage to offer dog therapy to their valued staff members on Employee Appreciation Day.
Vancouver ecoVillage has a rigorous therapy-dog training program, which requires several months of training and testing. The therapy dogs are re-tested annually to ensure they keep displaying temperament that shows confidence, good manners and sociability with other dogs and people. The dogs meet strict health requirements, are well-groomed and gentle at all times. They even do tricks to entertain and amuse. Most of all, these special dogs and their handlers have a therapeutic and calming influence on people in the community who have the pleasure of meeting them.