Local Dentist Relies On Therapy Dog Named Smudge To Provide Comfort And Affection During Visits

MCMURRAY, Pa. (KDKA) — A local dentist’s office is helping patients relax and smile with the help of a therapy dog.

Smudge is a popular member of the staff at Steliotes Dental Spa in McMurray.

“His overwhelming response to our patients has been great,” Dr. Ted Steliotes of Steliotes Dental Spa said. “He’s helped more children in calming them down for injections and a lot of adults. A lot more adults like to hold him for injections, but also have a dog at the office has been more of a gift to my patients than I ever thought.”

Smudge is trained to provide comfort and affection when that anxiety and uncertainty sets in.

“I love dogs, so Smudge really calms me down,” patient Cynthia Truitt said.

Smudge makes his rounds with assurance and purpose.

And that is why more and more health care facilities are making these pet professionals an essential part of their practice.