Pets brighten the lives of many people across the world. There are a variety of studies and pieces of evidence that point to pets improving the quality of life for owners. While these benefits normally come at home, a children’s hospital and a pet care group recently announced a new partnership which will bring animals to children during their hospital stays. The goal is to show how pets improve the lives of patients, and even help them to get home more quickly. Keep reading to learn more, or follow the original story here.
The collaboration making this possible is a result of Mars Petcare and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt joining forces. The result is the Mars Petcare Pet Therapy Fund. The fund will create the opportunity for the hospital to employ a “dedicated facility dog” and a staff position.
This collaboration is an extension of another initiative by the Mars Petcare group called “BETTER CITIES FOR PETS.” The goal of the initiative, much like the effort at the children’s hospital, is to spread the therapeutic knowledge and power of pets to as many people as possible.
An announcement describing the collaboration came during the children’s hospital’s annual dog show. The “Dog Days of Summer Paw-ty” event introduced hospital patients and volunteers to several therapy dogs and hosted a corresponding dog show.
Everyone’s Best Friend
Administrators and professional at both Mars and the children’s hospital are excited about the collaboration. According to Mars Petcare’s regional president in North America, the benefits of pets in therapy have been well documented. Studying the effect a facility dog has on a patient’s length of time in the hospital, however, is new ground.
An administrative director at the children’s hospital pointed out that facility dogs are showing great signs of success at many other clinics across the US. A facility dog will help to normalize a patient’s stay in the hospital as well as decrease the amount of fear and anxiety patients experience. There is also predicted to be an effect on hospital staff, as the dog serves as symbol of strength that will be able to support the hard working staff each day.
Further supporting this evidence is the fact that the children’s hospital already works with local groups to bring therapy animals to the hospital. The positive benefits have been not only well documented but observed. Having a facility dog on site will allow the hospital to bring these benefits to more patients and families than they’ve ever been able to. The program is set to begin in early 2019.