Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Angela Moe

Second Advisor

Holly Grieves


Animal assisted therapy (AAT) is an emerging field that can be used to compliment traditional occupational therapy (OT). This project particularly focused on pediatric clients receiving services in an outpatient clinic. Animal assisted occupational therapy (AAOT) can be used to improve physical, social, and emotional health through the incorporation of a certified therapy dog. OT clients actively participate in a unique and individualized intervention with the therapy dog that is designed to meet their specific goals. The purpose of this project was to further develop the Therapy Dog Clinic at Unified Clinics and to expand services to community-based organizations including Roots and Wings Therapies and the YWCA Human Trafficking Program at no additional cost. This project has found that 100% of the clients interviewed would like to continue having a therapy dog included in their session and 100% of caregivers would consider animal assisted occupational therapy again. Therapist reports also show improved regulation, improved ability to transition, and improved engagement in challenging and non-preferred activities.