Does aaisg do pet/animal therapy?

We prefer the more specific term “animal-assisted interventions” as set out in the International Association of Human-Animal Interactions Organizations (IAHAIO) White Paper: Definitions for Animal Assisted Intervention and Guidelines.

Why are you only working with dogs, when your organisation’s name is Animal-Assisted Interactions Singapore?

For a start, aaisg will be working with canines, as they are the species that are most frequently involved in animal-assisted interventions.

Why are you charging for your services?

We charge for our services to ensure that we can provide programmes and activities of the highest standards which are also sustainable in the long run. None of our partnerships, programmes, services, education and training would be possible if our organisation operated on a volunteer basis.

Can I get a service dog or emotional support dog from aaisg? I would also like to train this dog to do therapy, can aaisg help me?

Service dogs, assistance dogs, emotional support dogs and working dogs all perform very different functions. Because of the time, costs and specialised expertise involved, we do not raise or train dogs to suit any of these roles.

What is the difference between a therapy dog, emotional support dog and guide/assistance dogs?

Guide/assistance dogs are specifically trained to perform specific tasks to assist individuals with specific disabilities. In Singapore, only guide dogs accompanying individuals with a sight or hearing impairment are recognised under the law, and granted access to food establishments, public transport etc. Emotional support dogs are not recognised in singapore and are not granted special rights under the law.

Public health and safety
Can dogs spread COVID-19 and other infectious diseases?

According to the World Organisastion of Animal Health (OIE) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no evidence that Covid-19 can spread to people from the skin, hair or fur of pets. 

Prior to becoming an aaisg team, dog handlers must provide a report from a veterinarian to show that their dog is free from disease, and up to date on their vaccinations and parasite prevention treatments. Handlers themselves have to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Our canine teams are also trained and equipped with the best practices to safeguard public health and safety.

Why are dogs that are on a raw meat based diet excluded from joining aaisg?

Various international bodies have advised against the inclusion of dogs on a raw protein diet in AAI, as AAI typically involves individuals of vulnerable health status. There is also scientific evidence showing a relationship between raw meat diets and increased risk of disease and parasite transmission in dogs. These organisations include the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the International Association of Human-Animal Interactions Organizations (IAHAIO).

Therefore, to protect our clients and beneficiaries, we will not be including dogs that are currently on a raw meat diet. Dogs also have to be free from the ingestion of raw meat products for at least 90 days before they may resume any visits.

We welcome applicants open to considering a non-raw meat diet for their dogs.

Animal welfare
How do you protect the welfare of the animals involved in AAI?

We believe that all animals involved in AAI should enjoy and benefit from interactions. Otherwise, their involvement risks becoming exploitative, especially given the power differentials between humans and animals. Additionally, if we ignore the needs and preferences of  animals involved in AAI, we degrade the human-animal bond and lose the potential therapeutic benefits of AAI. 


Here are the ways we protect the wellbeing of our dogs:

  • We only select dogs that enjoy interactions with unfamiliar people. We will not include dogs that merely tolerate interactions with humans, and dogs that do not have good communication with their handlers. In addition, aaisg will pair up each canine team with programmes and clients suitable for the dog. This ensures that our AAI sessions are fun and enriching for the dogs involved. 
  • We recognise that handlers have the potential to do the most harm to their animals. Therefore, we ensure that handlers undergo basic training to understand animal-assisted interventions, canine behaviour, canine welfare, infection control, and more. 
  • We ensure safe interactions between our clients and the dogs, by briefing clients on how to interact appropriately with our dogs. Where children are involved, we may begin the session with a stuffed dog to practice their handling skills. 
  • Each session is limited to 60-90 minutes (including time taken to set up and pack up). Sessions will not extend beyond this duration, to protect the welfare of the dogs involved. 


It is important to note that even dogs with the best temperaments may resort to aggression if they are forced to tolerate unsafe or threatening situations for an extended period of time.

Joining aaisg
Can any dog participate in AAI? Are pedigree dogs more likely to pass the assessment than mixed-breed dogs?

We do not rely on breed stereotypes when assessing a dog’s suitability for aaisg activities, as there is a huge variability of temperaments within each breed group.

I would like to join aaisg but I do not have a dog, what should I do?

We are not recruiting members without dogs at the moment. However, this is likely to change in the future as our organisation grows. Follow our instagram page (@aaisingapore) for updates!

Do I need any credentials to be a member?

You do not need any particular qualifications or accreditations in order to join aaisg. We are looking for dog owners who want to learn about the human-animal bond and how to deliver AAI effectively and ethically, and who want to deepen their relationship with their canine partners. Our robust training and credentialing program will provide you with the requisite knowledge, skills and practical experience for visiting as an aaisg team. Our members also have access to professional development opportunities.

Where do you get your dogs from?

We as an organisation do not own any of the dogs involved in our programmes. Our dogs live with and are loved by their humans. 

I have visited human charities with my dog before, why should I become an aaisg member?

For the benefits of joining aaisg and undergoing our accreditation process, please click here.

We would like dogs to visit our facility. How might aaisg address potential cultural, religious or health concerns?

We are committed to building inclusive programmes that reflect and respect the diversity of your organisation. We would be happy to engage directly with all stakeholders. We listen to your concerns and can collaborate with stakeholders to develop special accommodations for addressing potential worries. Please write to us if you wish to discuss any concerns in particular.

We understand that Islamic scholars and jurists hold different opinions regarding dogs and ritual impurity. For further information, we recommend viewing the office of the Mufti Islamic Religious Council of Singapore’s (MUIS) advisory on guide dogs.

We prefer the more specific term “animal-assisted interventions” as set out in the International Association of Human-Animal Interactions Organizations (IAHAIO) White Paper: Definitions for Animal Assisted Intervention and Guidelines.