The Benefits of a Grief Therapy Dog

It can be extremely difficult to cope with emotions when a loved one passes away. For this reason, thousands of funeral homes throughout the country have added grief therapy dogs to their staff to help families with the grieving process while planning funerals and attending services.


Grief therapy dogs have a unique set of skills that allow them to effectively provide comfort and support to emotionally distraught individuals, making them a vital part of any funeral home staff. There are three main reasons why grief therapy dogs are so helpful in the funeral home industry:


  1. They have a strong sense of emotional need. Grief therapy dogs are specially trained to identify emotional distress and help provide relief. They are especially beneficial for children who have a harder time verbalizing how they’re feeling or properly expressing emotions.
  2. They are mood changersWell trained grief therapy dogs bring instant smiles and release pressure in uncomfortable rooms and environments. Their inherent fondness for giving and receiving affection can help lighten the moods of those who are struggling during a service or planning session.
  3. They relieve stress.Grief therapy dogs are naturally calm, confident and quiet, which can be therapeutic for those who are stressed by the funeral home environment. Petting a dog also increases serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, which naturally lowers stress and anxiety levels.


Are Grief Therapy Dogs on Staff at Stillinger Family Funeral Homes?


While many funeral homes are just now discovering the benefits of adding trained grief therapy dogs to their staff, Stillinger Family Funeral Homes has had grief therapy dogs since 2008. In fact, we were one of the first funeral homes in the state of Indiana to offer canine support during services and we plan to continue expanding our four-legged team.


At Stillinger Family Funeral Homes, we strive to provide the best possible experience for our families so they feel comfortable expressing their emotions while working through the grieving process. Our pups, Harley, Foster, Harper and Huxley, are an integral part of the warm, inviting atmosphere we aim to create every day.


All four of our grief therapy dogs completed their training from Ultimate Canine in Westfield, IN and were destined to be therapy dogs. Four of our staff members have become certified handlers to best support our pups and provide additional community support outside of our funeral home doors.


If you are interested in having our therapy dogs at your service, please let us know. Harley, Foster, Harper and Huxley would be honored to support your family and friends during a difficult and emotional time.

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