It’s incredible how much a canine friend can positively influence your entire life.
Research has long shown that people suffering from illnesses can benefit from having a dog in their lives. But now there’s even proof that everyone is better off with a pet. In fact, a study by Psychology Today found that pet owners “exhibited greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, were less lonely, were more conscientious, were more socially outgoing, and had healthier relationship styles” than those who didn’t own pets.
All dogs will make you smile, but therapy dogs go the extra mile to make their owners’ lives better. Therapy dogs are often volunteers in nursing homes, schools, or hospitals and are taught to bring comfort to those who need it most. They aren’t as trained as service dogs and should never be passed off as such on flights or airplanes, but they still enrich the lives of those around them more than any other kind of pet.
1. Labrador retriever
When it comes to Labs, you simply won’t find a better breed for bringing joy to people’s lives. These dogs are calm, patient, sweet, kind, and affectionate. They’re also the happiest when around people, so visits to nursing homes or schools will always be the highlight of their day. Ranked as the most popular purebred dog in the U.S., it’s no wonder Labs sit at the top of the list for best therapy dog breeds, too.