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Contact us

99-1568 Merivale Road, Suite 369

Ottawa ON K2G 5Y7

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  • I am looking for a service dog or want my dog to be trained as a service dog.
    Ottawa Therapy Dogs does not work with service dogs or personal/emotional support dogs. We are a Therapy Dog organization and our therapy dog teams involve a handler with their own dog that have been evaluated together as a team, and are then registered and insured with OTD to volunteer in partner facilities (such as CHEO and the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre). Click here to view a comparison on how therapy dogs differ from service dogs. Here is a great way to understand the difference: A service dog is trained to work with YOU for YOU. A therapy dog is trained to work with YOU for OTHERS. We recommend visiting these organizations for guidance on service dogs: Canadian Foundation for Animal Assisted Support Services Assistance Dogs International
  • What is the difference between a service dog and a therapy dog?
    Service dogs are highly trained to assist an individual with their day-to-day living. Service dogs are not to be touched or petted while working and have access to public facilities. A therapy dog is trained to visit with a variety of people to help relieve stress, pain and to provide affection through the power of the human-animal bond. They are only permitted to visit Ottawa Therapy Dogs' approved facility partners or special events that have been arranged through the organization. While service dogs would likely make great therapy dogs, they are not permitted to be an Ottawa Therapy Dog. It can be confusing to the dog to have two different jobs and we always need to be mindful that dogs also need “downtime” to relax! More information on the differences between a service dog and therapy dog can be found here.
  • Do you offer visits to private homes?
    Regrettably, we do not have the resources to fulfill individual requests for Therapy Dog visits. Additionally, the safety of our volunteers is paramount, therefore we do not send them to private residences. All of our volunteer therapy dog teams regularly visit only our pre-approved health care, educational and social service facilities.
  • Do you offer one-time visits to public organizations/workplaces?
    Given that we are a volunteer-based organization, we may be able to accommodate one-time visits based on the capacity and availability of our volunteer teams. If you would like more information, please contact
  • Will I be able to take my dog to work with me for therapeutic visits?
    This is a volunteer program, so you cannot take your dog to your place of work while you are being paid by your employer and in your role of responsibility. In terms of our liability insurance this is a conflict of interest.
  • Once my dog and I are evaluated, can my partner, family member or friend take them for visits occasionally?
    As dogs behave differently with different people, each handler-dog combination is considered a team. A dog can have more than one handler, but each handler needs to go through our application and evaluation process with the dog.
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