Here at South Boston Family Dental we are pleased to announce our newest addition, Gracie! Gracie will serve as a therapy dog for patients. Research shows that dogs can improve overall health by providing comfort, lowering blood pressure, and improving mood. Gracie is an Australian Cobberdog (a purebred labradoodle). The Cobberdog was developed with a genetic diversity different from the Labradoodle’s, in order to obtain a breed that maintained the Labradoodle’s initial objective: to be the perfect therapy and assistance dog. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, state and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of a facility where the public is allowed. Assisted Animal Therapy can have many benefits for patients. It is a less invasive way to reduce anxiety and stress in the dental setting than the administration of anti-anxiety medication to lower blood pressure, provide comfort, and improve mood. These positive health benefits may affect many populations, ranging from the elderly to children with different cognitive abilities. Blood pressure can be lowered when a patient pets a dog, which can be good for those who have dental anxiety. Incorporating AAT also moves the focus onto the dog instead of a patient’s symptoms or pain. Gracie has been a perfect addition to the SBFD team, and she can’t wait to meet you at your next dental visit!