While still a novel area in palliative care, Pets have been shown to enhance patient well-being.
Rua is our pet therapy dog and was introduced to the Hospice as a puppy in May 2015. He is an Irish Red Setter-Poodle mix. He receives
ongoing training in pet therapy. He joins ward rounds if the patient & family wish.
Some patients spoke positively of their interactions with the pet therapy trainee dog, while more physically able patients and relatives walked with him. Rua has helped de-stigmatise visiting the Hospice for patients and family members, perceived to help pain control for one patient, was a source of distraction at a challenging time for family and facilitated memory-making through photographs.
Although not everyone likes dogs, many patients, relatives, and visitors have benefited from their engagement with the pet therapy trainee dog.
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