Hamilton dental clinic uses comfort dog

"There is a lady who is a client who trains mobility dogs and the staff here mentioned how neat it would be to have a therapy dog to help with children in the waiting room. So if children are anxious they can hang with her.

Hamilton dental clinic uses comfort dog

 "And it so happened that she knew of this dog who had failed her x-rays, which meant her hips were not going to be good enough to pull wheelchairs or walk long distances.

"So then they put us in touch with Mobility Dogs and they came here with Skye," Carter said.

Skye has run of the clinic but the three year old's quite often found in reception receiving the odd treat from staff and pats from waiting clients.

"It's more of a distraction, they can take her through to where they are treated, she can also get up on the chair with them if that is what they want. But generally, she will sit or stand beside them so they can pat her."

There are no health concerns in having Skye in with the clients.

"All the equipment is sterilised but she's not near equipment like that anyway, all the nurses have their gloves and things like that. We have checked it with the dental council as well."

The clinic have had people join their clinic just because of Skye.

"We get a lot of adults that ring up and request her - so she can go through to the chair with them and they can just sit there and pat her."

It's not just pre-treatment care she offers but also after care, say if someone has had a tooth out or a tongue tie procedure she can be on hand to receive hugs.

"Also for parents if they have to bring more than the one child to the clinic Skye can entertain/ babysit the other kids that aren't getting treated in the waiting room."

Hamilton dental clinic uses comfort dog

 Skye's work isn't over when she leaves the clinic around 3pm - Carter's son has cerebral palsy and he gets anxious, too.

"But he just loves her, both my kids do, but he'll get up in the morning and snuggle with her."

The clinic is aware that not all people like dogs.

"She is really mellow, she doesn't jump up on people, she's not rough, she's really gentle."

They also haven't come across anyone who is allergic to dogs in the clinic.



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