Puppy love: therapy dogs are making a difference.

For more than two decades, Toronto's innovative Baycrest has had a pet therapy program for residents living with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer's and dementia.

Both owners and pets are certified by St. John Ambulance or Therapeutic Paws of Canada. These dogs must be calm and confident in the presence of crowds, other dogs, wheelchairs or canes and display no aggression.

Visits with the therapy animals improve quality of life, providing relief from stress and distraction from pain – even helping to lower blood pressure.

Click through to find out about the people and pooches who are making a difference.

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