How to Get Your Dog a Therapy Dog Certification
It’s finally happening — my dog is in the process of getting her therapy dog certification. When I first got Koda, I immediately knew I wanted to make her an Emotional Support Animal. And I did. As an ESA, Koda can live with me no matter my housing situation — even if I move to a college campus or a renting situation that typically doesn’t allow animals or do, but only for a fee. She also flies for free.
But just weeks or maybe months after getting Koda, I decided I wanted to go one step further with her training. I knew I wanted her to become a therapy dog who could visit people in nursing homes, cancer words, psych hospitals, and more.
Since I announced that I enrolled Koda in a therapy certification class, I’ve gotten a handful of questions about what the process entails. While it’s still very much something we’re actively a part of — and we are by no means pros — I love spreading the word about Emotional Support Animals and Therapy Dog Certifications as much as I possibly can.
Here are some frequently-asked questions about dog therapy certifications:
Which travel bag do you put your dog in?
I use the Sherpa on Wheels carrier, which you can get on Amazon here. I did a lot of research on which bag to buy for Koda. Trust me, a lot of research. It was difficult to choose one because Koda is technically a bigger dog than the pups that usually travel. She is a pomeranian-Husky mix and while she’s meets the under 30-pounds requirement, she’s still a big mama when it comes to lugging her fluffy butt through the terminal. She’s 22 pounds altogether (and that’s full-grown!).
While that might seem small, most travel bags cut off at around 10 or 15 pounds and I was very concerned about getting Koda to fit into one of these. I got the Sherpa carrier in the Large size. I like that it’s on wheels, features mesh panels for ventilation and two possible entry points (top and on the side, which is great for slowly tricking her into the bag), a large accessory pocket for treats, medications, and poop baggies, and roll-up flaps on each side so Koda could see very clearly what was going on around her.
It cost about $70. In the long-run, for the amount of traveling I want to do, I definitely think this travel bag was worth it. We’ll probably go to Puerto Rico about once or twice a year. Not to mention, it’s always good to have in other traveling situations like if we were going into Manhattan on the Long Island Railroad or whatnot because most trains require that pets be concealed in some type of transport tote.