Companion Paws Canada (CPC)

Companion Paws is dedicated to supporting Canadians in need while providing a second chance for pets in rescues through TLC’s Companion Paws Personal Therapy Dog Adoption Program. TLC’s Companion Paws also offers a Certify Your Own Dog program. TLC’s Companion Paws programs are available in all Provinces across Canada.

Once dogs are certified, these pets are able to serve in a variety of meaningful positions including Personal emotional support, Assisted and Visiting Therapy. For assisted and visiting designations, this is a tremendous opportunity to share your dog’s love with someone in need.

Medical studies have confirmed what we all know from experience; spending time with an affectionate pet makes us feel better. In fact, contact with a compassionate animal can significantly improve mental and physical health, as well as reduce stress, depression and anxiety.

Therapy dogs come in all sizes and breeds. The most important characteristic of a therapy dog is its temperament. 

A good therapy dog must be:

  • a minimum of 1.5 years old
  • very well trained
  • healthy
  • up to date on all vaccinations
  • calm
  • friendly
  • patient
  • confident
  • gentle
  • at ease in all situations

The LifeLine Canada offers three Companion Paws certification programs as well as visits with certified Therapy Dog teams. Please read through all the material carefully before completing an application form so we can ensure you are matched to the best program for you.

Through our Adoption program, we do not supply trained dogs. We provide temperament-assessed dogs and facilitate their training with their new adopter to ensure that they end up with the perfect companion for their circumstances.

  1. Personal Therapy Dog Adoption Program
  2. Assisted Therapy Dog Adoption Program
  3. Certify Your Own Therapy Dog Program

Certify Your Own Dog as a Companion Paws Therapy Dog is also available as part of the Companion Paws program for Personal therapy, Assisted therapy and Visiting therapy. If you have your own very well trained dog and are looking for him or her to become a Companion Paws dog for Personal, Assisted or Visiting therapy, please thoroughly go through the program process prior to registering for a 1st Temperament Assessment to confirm suitability.

All of our Certified Companion Paws Therapy dogs are tested with the toughest guidelines of their kind in Canada. Certified Teams are required to renew and re-evaluate annually to keep Companion Paws Certification. Adhering to these guidelines requires dedication and dedicated, authentic training.

Through our Companion Paws program process, we assess and test 3 types of Animal Assisted Therapy Dogs;

Personal Therapy Dog (first program of its kind in Canada): A certified personal therapy dog (Companion Paws emotional support dog) is a trained, temperament tested, evaluated and certified dog that brings positive mental health benefits to their owners/handlers. Often a Therapy Dog is benificial to those that struggle with mental health conditions.

Assisted Therapy Dog Assisted Therapy Dogs join their handler/owner (typically educators, teachers, psychologists, counsellors and doctors) at their workplace to help their students, clients, customers and/or patients.

Visiting Therapy Dog Typically, Visiting Therapy Dogs visit events, shelters, hospitals, schools, hospices, nursing homes and more. Unlike service dogs, therapy dogs are encouraged to interact with a variety of people while they are on-duty. Everyone at Companion Paws is a dog lover. We take great care to only qualify dogs who enjoy interacting with complete strangers. Where someone needs unconditional love and unwavering support, these very special furry friends step up and provide it in spades. To request a visit from one or more of our Certified Visiting Therapy Dog Teams, please click here for Visiting Therapy Dog Request for details and request form.

Before you jump in and find your perfect companion, please take note that Companion Paws Therapy dogs are designated companion dogs and will not be certified as service dogs.  Therapy dogs are companion dogs trained to provide affection, comfort and company and are not afforded the same legal privileges as service dogs. For the differences, see here.

To ensure you are matched to the best program for you, please thoroughly read through all the materials, program process, costs, requirements, next steps and FAQs, carefully, before completing an application form or registering for a 1st temperament assessment.