UBCO's BARK Program
Building a model health program for dog therapists
Pandosy Village Veterinary Hospital is now the official veterinary partner for the University of British Columbia’s dog therapy program!
UBC Okanagan’s B.A.R.K. (Building Academic Retention Through K9) is one of the largest on-campus canine-visitation programs in Canada, with more than 60 dog and handler teams volunteering to reduce student on stress on campus. As the BARK program is a role model for other university programs across the country, UBC Okanagan invited us at Pandosy Village Veterinary Hospital to help develop a replicable health and safety program for dog volunteers.
Pandosy Vet is the Official Veterinarian for UBCO's BARK Program
Dr. John-Tyler Binfet, the BARK program manager, said “our staff and volunteers are already trained in dog stress reduction, so therapy sessions are positive for everyone involved. A well-researched, modern health program for the dogs is a logical next step. The dogs give so much to our students; we want to give back to them.”
Pandosy Village Veterinary Hospital’s veterinarian Dr. Jason Rowan, says “our focus is on preventative health, and we want to keep these hard working dogs in tip top shape.”
Health and Safety for Therapy Dogs
Our local holistic vet hospital has drawn on the most current veterinary medical practices to develop healthcare standards for B.A.R.K. therapy dogs, as well as policies to address the transfer of disease between pets and humans.
Registered veterinary technician Jessica and clinic owner Arnica observed B.A.R.K. group therapy sessions at the university. The hospital staff presented their recommendations to UBCO and together, they formed the B.A.R.K. program's new health and safety guidelines.
Healthcare Cost Savings for Therapy Dog Volunteers
The health and safety program is part of a broader partnership that includes reduced cost health care benefits at Pandosy Village Veterinary Hospital for B.A.R.K. volunteer therapy dogs.
The B.A.R.K. therapy dogs receive healthcare benefits at Pandosy village Veterinary Hospital for acupuncture, surgery, dentistry, veterinary check-up, nutritional supplements, a well as dog food and gear from the Pounce & Hound store.
About the BARK Therapy Dog Program
Standing for “Building Academic Retention Through K9’s”, B.A.R.K. is a dog therapy program run under the direction of Dr. John Tyler Binfet at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus. B.A.R.K. brings together university students and trained therapy dogs and handlers in an effort to reduce stress, combat homesickness, foster interpersonal connections, and promote the overall social-emotional well-being of students. B.A.R.K. research has been highlighted by Psychology Today, WebMD and the American Kennel Club. Learn more...
If you are interested in volunteering with the BARK program with your furry friend, please check out the BARK website! It’s a rewarding and fun experience, and very impactful on the mental health of students up at UBC Okanagan.
About Pandosy Village Veterinary Hospital
Our integrative neighbourhood vet clinic offers holistic care for your pets, such as vaccinations and titre testing, Western and Traditional Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional consultations, Traditional Chinese acupuncture, and chiropractic care, as well as conventional medicine, ultrasound, radiology and laboratory diagnostics, spay/neuter surgeries and dentistry. Our Pounce & Hound Fine Pet Goods store stocks high quality raw and dry food, nutritional supplements, gear and toys.