How Pet Therapy Can Help During Tough Times


Our wonderful furry friends are amazing companions during merciless times. However, research has shown that you can lower your anxiety and reduce your heart rate and blood pressure if you just pet or cuddle a dog. Also, spending only thirty minutes with a dog can boost your dopamine and endorphin levels. 

The hospice professionals in Los Angeles told us that because there are so many advantages to spending time with animals, many healthcare industry professionals are now delving into the use of pet therapy

Time spent with animals can be an excellent way to help hospice and palliative care patients in Los Angeles to cope with emotional or mental health issues. Also, animals can help patients deal with the process of transitioning into hospice care. Keep on reading to learn more about the amazing way our animal companions can help the adversity during these difficult times. 

What Type Of Dogs Visit Hospice Care Patients?

Many different kinds of dogs usually spend time with hospice patients, including therapy and visiting dogs. Therapy dogs are trained by credentialed handlers who teach the animals how to connect with patients. These dogs are mainly used for therapy sessions with patients needing palliative care in Los Angeles. 

A majority of hospice care organizations have a minimum age limit for visiting dogs, normally at least one year old. Dogs are anticipated to be well-behaved, walk well on a leash, and obey their handler. Obviously, the dog has to be fine with being touched and handled by strangers. Also, Faith & Hope make sure that the dogs aren’t afraid of people who walk with canes or are in wheelchairs, and that the dog has all its necessary vaccines. 

Before they start spending time with patients, visiting dogs are normally given a test. At the same time as this test, hospice care workers will check to see how dogs respond to situations that may occur while they’re visiting patients. They’ll analyze how well the dog walks on a leash, and they’ll also check how well the dog answers to other dogs. If the dog does well on the test, the hospice care organization will let the dog and their handler begin visiting patients.

Since therapy and visiting dogs are both expertly trained, you can feel rest assured that any dog that’s spending time with your loved one will be well-behaved. The dog and its handler will know the best ways to interact with elderly and sick patients. 

Who Gains From Animal Therapy?

Animal therapy can be very advantageous for animal lovers who are receiving hospice care. Moreover, the animals help patients feel more at home in the facility where they’re receiving hospice care. 

Furthermore, animal therapy is beneficial for hospice care patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Animals can relax agitated patients and help them become more outgoing. A research study brought a therapy dog into a nursing home that housed patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Within the four-week study, there were fewer behavioral issues in the home. Another study revealed that Alzheimer’s patients who had pets in their homes experienced fewer incidents of anxiety and aggression than patients with no pets. 

Many patients have their hospice care in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Sadly, these patients usually have to leave their beloved pets with a friend or family member. These types of patients can get a lot from animal therapy. Having an animal visit them at their new home assists patients who miss their four-legged friend a little less.

Additionally, animal therapy is very beneficial for more reserved patients. Many patients light up when a therapy or service animal visits them. They’ll start talking with the hospice care workers and volunteers about their childhood pets or pets they had when their children were young. For animal-loving patients, having a service animal come visit is always a focal point of their day.

Advantages Of Pets For In-home Hospice Care Patients

Even if your loved one is receiving hospice care at home, pets can be just as helpful. If your loved one can’t leave their home, their pet can give them comfort and companionship. Pets are good at keeping people calm and relaxed, and they’ll help them feel less lonely throughout the day. If your loved one does not have their own pet, you can set up a therapy animal to visit them. 

Keep in mind that the transition into hospice care is a tough time for patients and their loved ones. Animals have incredible advantages for patients during this time. They can soothe patients, lower their blood pressure, and help make patients more talkative. Also, animals can provide companionship and unconditional love. If you want to learn more about animals in hospice care, contact Faith & Hope Hospice and Palliative Care today!