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A female caregiver in red helps an elderly woman walk down stairs. They both smile. A female caregiver in red helps an elderly woman walk down stairs. They both smile.

Therapy Dog Program

Reya Kuebler, Right at Home Somerset and Hunterdon Counties, New Jersey’s certified therapy dog, and her handler Janet Kuebler are available for visits to seniors at home or in facilities upon request. Interested parties may call (908) 281-7961 or email [email protected] to arrange a visit.

How Reya Earned her Certified Therapy Dog Title

Reya is a 1 year old lab mix rescue dog from the Heavenly Angels Animal Rescue. She earned her Pet Therapy certification in 2018 after completing a 6-week course and passing The Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. therapy dog certification conducted by one of their qualified evaluators. Reya also attended Mind Your Manners classes once a week for several months prior to certification to prepare her for certification.

Reya received training with Janet on:

  • Canine body language
  • Human to Canine Interaction
  • Canine to Canine Interaction
  • Infection prevention and control: therapy animal visitation in healthcare settings
  • Visit safety and incident management
  • Therapy animal handler training

Reya's therapy dog certification is renewed annually. She is screened by veterinarians and is up to date on her vaccinations. Reya is also covered by liability and accident insurance.

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(908) 281-7961

Benefits of Pet Therapy for the Elderly

The sight of a friendly dog visitor can make people smile. Most people love to pet a dog or visit with a cute little puppy. Not only are they a joy to see, their visits have some great benefits on the elderly.

Research shows that therapy pets can help elderly who live in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or short-term rehab to raise their spirits. The increased socialization can also help the seniors to forget (even if it is only for a moment) pain, sadness, or loneliness that they are experiencing. Therapy pet visits can help improve the elderly’s overall mood--which can lead to increased motivation and participation in therapy, resulting in increased ability to achieve rehab goals and prepare them to return home.
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Therapy dogs give comfort and affection through petting and kisses (when invited). They ease loneliness and bolster self-esteem. Some entertain with simple tricks and obedience routines.

There are also other benefits from regular pet visits:

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  • Physical benefits - lowering blood pressure and heart rate and reducing overall stress
  • Emotional benefits - reduction of anxiety and depression, combating loneliness through increasing social interaction with the pets and their human companions.

Consistent interaction with a pet has shown to cause an increased release of serotonin and dopamine in the brain which has a calming and soothing effect on the body. This can be helpful for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, to decrease unwanted behaviors and calm their agitation. Also, the increased mental stimulation associated with talking to the pet directly, asking questions to the dog’s owner or talking with other residents about the dog help to keep the brain active.

Where Reya Serves in the Community

Upon request, Reya and Janet can provide services in a variety of venues including:

  • Retirement Homes
  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Nursing Homes
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Hospice
Contact us for details
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