Dogs not only bring happiness to our everyday lives but also improve the lives of sick children. With their innate desire to comfort others, dogs have the privilege of spending time with children to brighten their day. Therapy dogs provide beneficial services to children who have experienced trauma to distract them from their reality.
According to Stephanie Stahl in her article “Popular Pet Therapy Program At CHOP Is Expanding” Through the Gerald Shreiber Pet Therapy Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, patients are given a companion and friend to act as a source of comfort during their treatments. Dogs can help children endure obstacles and medical setbacks more easily because they radiate positive and uplifting energy. By making the children smile and laugh, these dogs increase their chance of overcoming their hardships. They provide them with a sense of hope. Dogs distract the children from the severity of their illnesses, and help children become healthier in a more quickly fashion. Through the love and support from the therapy dogs, children become more positive, which can increase their chance of getting better. Most of the time, the children forget that they are in a hospital and feel like a normal child. Volunteers donate their time and energy because of effect of this special experience. These dogs have to be comfortable with people and be trained to work with ill children. Since the dogs are in the presence of sick children with weak immune systems, they must ensure that they will not spread their germs. The patients use antibacterial wipes before and after every session as a safety precaution.
According to the article Pet Therapy Program to Triple in Size in CHOP family news Because of the success of CHOP’s Pet Therapy Program, it is expanding so that many children gain the special and unique benefits of visits from these dogs. The goal of the Gerald B. Schreiber Therapy Program is to increase the number of dogs from 24 to 80 dogs. In addition, the hope of this program is that there will be to increase the amount of visits to one unit from one to two visits every week. Increasing the number of units that the Hospital enables pet therapy dogs to remain will increase the happiness and hope of more patients. In addition, CHOP has the dream of offering pet therapy at various CHOP Care Networks locations. Enhancing awareness of this program and instigating more opportunities will lift the spirits of so many more children.
According to Stephanie Stahl’s article “Health: Local Hospital Expands Pet Therapy Program” The dogs calm and relax the children, so sometimes they forget about their diseases. Through initiating dogs into the environment of these children, they decrease their anxiety about their treatments and experience the normal life of a child at least for a short amount of time. Through interacting with dogs, these children gain unconditional love and feel accepted despite the abnormalities of their lives. Dogs help reduce their stress so that they can focus on maintaining optimistic attitudes to become healthier.