(Oshkosh, Wisc.) – Oshkosh-based dental practice Govani Dental recently introduced a canine-assisted pet therapy program to ease and enhance patient visits to the dentist.
Towards the end of 2012, Ruby, an American Kennel Club (AKC)-certified Border Terrier arrived at Govani Dental to begin her training as a therapy dog. Research has proven that positive emotions result from interaction with animals, especially dogs. For organizations that work with small children and people who may become nervous about their dental appointment, engaging with dogs can help assuage their anxiety.
Ruby is quickly learning the ropes. She has passed the Oshkosh Kennel Club’s puppy class and is now getting into her second round of obedience classes. The next step is to begin training as a therapy dog. In this, her first stay at the office, Ruby will reside in the office of Dr. Shaheda Govani, DDS, owner of Govani Dental, as she gets used to the sights, smells and noises of a dental office. This first phase is merely for socialization, so she will be away from any examination areas, but patients can come visit Ruby before their appointment or drop by to say hello afterwards.
Sharon, a patient at Govani Dental, and Ruby hit it off right away. “Going to the dentist used to stress me out,” Sharon explained. “But with Ruby in the office, my stress levels dropped from 90% down to about 5%. She’s such a friendly little dog that I find myself looking forward to dentist appointments so I can see her.”
A lot of thought and planning has gone into starting this pet therapy program at Govani Dental. As anticipated, the patients of have fallen in love with Ruby. And, as a Border Terrier, she is hypoallergenic and therefore a better fit for clients who may have allergies.
Dr. Govani has already seen the benefits of having Ruby in the office. “A patient may arrive for their appointment a little tense, but interacting with Ruby helps them feel much more confident and calm during their time with us,” she explains.
Canine-assisted therapy programs are relatively new and Govani Dental is among the first dental practices in northeast Wisconsin to offer one. “Ruby has been a tremendous addition to our practice,” says Dr. Govani. “We are anxious to see Ruby have an even greater role in our office as her training continues.”
Govani Dental, a comprehensive general and family dentistry practice, has been in the Oshkosh area since 2010. Awarded the Best of Winnebago award two-years running for best dental clinic, Govani Dental has become a cornerstone in the Oshkosh community. It is located on the corner of East Murdock Avenue and Evans Street. For more information about Govani Dental, LLC, visit their website at http://www.govanidentalnew.bdcstaging.com.
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