Volunteering to visit with your dog

Volunteering to visit with your dog is an easy and rewarding way to bring excitement and joy into the lives of older people living in aged-care homes.

As dog owners we all know about the happiness and connection that dogs bring into our lives.  Dogs encourage touch, conversation, laughter and friendship among all ages and classes of people.  Or at other times, they provide just quiet companionship.

Research studies over many years have shown real benefits of canine companionship particularly to people living in aged care in pomoting happiness and improved health outcomes.  Studies involving people with dementia have shown that the particular benefits of canine visiting surpass even some commonly used medications.

Here are two research studies that demonstrate these benefits.

Companion animals and human health: benefits, challenges, and the road ahead for human-animal interaction.

Effectiveness of the dog therapy for patients with dementia – a systematic review.


The first step is to contact us at Caring Canine Companions by phone, email or the contact form in the Contact Us page.

A Co-ordinator will discuss the role and process with you. If you wish to go ahead you will be asked to complete the application form and return it.

Our Dog Assessor will contact you and arrange a first assessment usually held outdoors in a low stress public environment. Once your dog has passed this assessment, our Co-ordinator will guide you through the remaining documentation including a police check.

Once that is complete, a Co-ordinator will work with you and your dog to match you to a suitable recipient or group of recipients in residential aged care. A second assessment will be held at the aged care home to ensure that your dog is comfortable in the aged care environment with its variety of floor surfaces and equipment and the needs and behaviours of aged care residents.

Once you have passed the second assessment, our Co-ordinator will liaise with you and the aged care home to arrange for the timing of visits that suits you both.

Prior to your first visit, you will be provided with an identification badge.  Subject to availability you will also receive polo tops and a vest which we encourage you to wear, and a bandana for your dog.

The answers to many of your questions may be found on the FAQ page or just give one of our Co-ordinators a call at the numbers listed on the Contact Us page.