Therapy dog aids dental patients


Dr. Joni Kluth was convinced a therapy dog would be the perfect addition to her and her husband Mike’s dental office.

Bodi, a fun-loving labradoodle, a cross between a Labrador and poodle, has been just that.

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Bodi in his monster Halloween costume. (Submitted photo)

“He’s there for patient comfort, especially kids,” Kluth said. “They do well with him when they are apprehensive about having procedures done. Our staff loves him as well.”

Bodi turned 1 year old Oct. 24, and Kluth Family Dentistry staff threw the therapy dog a birthday party. Bodi visits the Noblesville office three days each week.

“He’s out in the waiting room,” Kluth said. “He can go back in the treatment room. He can stay back with patients if they like him to. It’s been a neat experience.”

Kluth said Bodi went through obedience training at Ultimate Canine, concluding in April.

“They did an excellent job,” she said. “He stayed at their facility for seven or eight weeks, and he passed his therapy certification. My husband and I had to go through a day of training, and our staff has been through training.”

The husband and wife dentists, who live in Noblesville with their three children, also have an office in Alexandria.

“We hope to have Bodi up there (in Alexandria) when we get our staff there trained,” Kluth said.

Kluth surprised the family with Bodi at Christmas.

“We already had a dog, and this is the first time we’ve been a two-dog family,” Kluth said. “The breeder that we got Bodi from talked about a dental office using a dog (a yellow lab) for therapy training. That is what sparked my interest. I looked into it and felt it would be great for our patients.”

Much of the training is centered on socialization.

“Bodi is a happy-go-lucky dog,” Kluth said. ”He’s happy all the time.”

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