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Pet Therapy

Pet Therapy Helps Reduce Stress and Lift Moods for Patients at University Hospitals

Pet therapy or Pet Pals, the canine assisted activity program at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center’s Supportive Oncology Services in Cleveland, Ohio, uses trained volunteers and their adult certified therapy dogs to make short, in-room visits to consenting patients.

Some dogs in our pet therapy program entertain the patients with tricks, whereas other dogs serve more as "teddy bears", perfect for cuddling, nuzzling and hugging. Many sizes and breeds of dogs are considered for the pet therapy program at UH.

Benefits of Pet Therapy

Pet therapy has been found to have positive benefits for children and adults with serious illnesses such as cancer, including:

  • Reduces stress
  • Promotes healing
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lifts mood

In addition, pet therapy provides a comforting source of healing touch for both children and adults in the hospital.

Pet Therapy at UH

Several different breeds of dogs are involved in the pet therapy program at UH. All pet therapy dogs have undergone a veterinary examination and a behavioral screening test, and all dogs are bathed before each visit.