Introducing Dogtor Bruce: Australia’s first certified dental therapy dog

At Warragul Dental Care we make it our mission to help nervous or anxious patients get the help they need. We don’t like to think of people suffering in pain because they’re afraid to come to the Dentist.

So, in addition to our relaxing comforts like Netflix, blankets and headphones, we thought we’d bring in a little furry friend to give our patients a reassuring nudge….meet our dental therapy dog, Dogtor Bruce.

 

What’s a dental therapy dog?

A therapy dog is specially trained to help people overcome certain obstacles in their life. A dental therapy dog is trained to help patients with a fear, or phobia, of coming to the Dentist.  Bruce has been training to be a dental therapy dog since he was only 8 weeks old and at the grand ole’ age of 1 year and 1 day, he passed his dental therapy dog test.

Bruce’s training and tests included being able to socialise well with people and being used to the sights, sounds and smells of a dental environment. If you’ve ever been in and given Bruce’s face a little squidge you’ll know he’s a pretty chilled dog, so of course, he passed with flying colours!

Bruce as a puppy getting cuddles with Rheannon

Now Bruce is qualified he’ll be around the practice to help calm anxious patients, adults and kids. He’ll be greeting you when you come in the door and give you cuddles and a high ‘paw’ when you leave. And, if you like, he’ll hang with you in the treatment room as moral support.

Are you allowed to pat him?

OF COURSE, you just try stopping him! This is something we get asked a lot, and we totally get it, who wouldn’t want to pat him? Even though he wears a special coat, he’s not the same as a guide dog for the blind. Bruce is there for love and support and is actually trained to sit patiently while people give him a tickle. While he pretends it’s all part of the job, he actually adores pats, tickles behind the ear, belly scratches, smooches, you name it, he loves it.

Helping one of our little patients

How often is he at Warragul Dental Care?

Like all employees, Bruce needs a little R&R away from the office, so he won’t be in the practice all the time. He’s still a puppy (he’s only 1) so he’ll be coming in for a few hours at a time to get him used to it slowly.

Having a lil nap while the boss isn’t looking

I need Bruce

If you have an appointment coming up and really need Bruce’s friendly face just let us know (call 5623 5588) and we’ll do our best to make sure he is there for you!

At work and ready to be smooched

Where does he live when not at Warragul Dental Care?

Bruce lives with owners Dr Anand and Belinda, so he gets to live it up on the farm when he isn’t at work. At home, he specialises in chewing socks, hiding pens and hiding his toys all around the house. Belinda organises a lot of doggy playdates to keep him happy and relaxed around other dogs.

Looking handsome and hanging with doggy pals

Is Bruce always pampered and preened?

Yup and yup! Master Bruce is one of the cleanest hounds you’ll ever meet. He has regular baths and manicure sessions and is approved for working in a dental practice. Warragul Dental Care is accredited with the Australia Dental Association (ADA) which means we go over and above the standard hygiene processes for most dental practices. In a nutshell, we’re squeaky clean and so is Bruce!

How do I find out more?

If you want to book an appointment and think Dogtor Bruce can help, call 5623 5588 and have a chat with the team. If you want to keep up with Bruce’s hairy antics follow him on Facebook and Instagram at @dogtorbruce. You can also read his profile by clicking here.

Woof.

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