Pet therapy growing in popularity at Eskenazi Health

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Dogs are helping patients at Eskenazi Health feel better.

The hospital’s pet therapy program has become so popular it was expanded this summer.

There are now nearly a dozen therapy dogs and a full-time pet therapist on staff.

Each dog is specially trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospital settings.

Studies show that pet therapy helps people battling depression and feelings of loneliness.

One patient recovering from hip replacement surgery said the therapy dog she met with reminded her of home.

“I’ve got my husband’s dog. My other one passed away recently. I miss my dog, especially my kitty. They’re missing me, too,” said Christina.

The therapy dogs aren’t just for patients, staff at Eskenazi can also request visits from the pets.

Handlers bring the dogs to waiting areas throughout the hospital as well.

Eskenazi Health requires its therapy dogs to be at least a year old and complete three training classes before becoming part of the program.

If you think your dog would be a good fit to volunteer for this program, click here.