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In 2017, the news went viral on social media, reporting a 21-year old veterinary technician named Shelby Hennick smuggled a dog into the hospital for her sick grandmother. The dog named Patsy is grandma's, and Shelby knew that her dog would bring great comfort to her almost paralyzed grandmother. Luckily, her covert mission was successful. In some cases, you don't have to disguise a dog as a baby (like what Shelby did) to let pets like dogs inside a hospital. There are hospitals such as Johns Hopkins Hospital, which support animal-assisted therapy.

What is animal-assisted therapy?

According to Mayo Clinic, animal-assisted therapy or pet therapy is "a growing field that uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with health problems, such as heart disease, cancer, and mental health disorders." 

Nope, the dog doesn't carry any medicines or supplements during its hospital visit. All they need to do is to sit on the patient's lap (or beside the patient's bed) and be their adorable selves. Easy-peasy, right? 

The truth is it is not the easiest process. These animals must undergo rigorous training and earn a certificate before providing "therapy" to people in the hospital. Pet Partners and Assistance Dogs International, Inc. offer these training programs.

Benefits of pet therapy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim the health benefits of owning a pet, such as decreasing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, lessens stress, and bringing happiness to people. This is further proven by several studies below which look deeper into animal-assisted therapy:

  • The research shows that people in the hospital who had a brief visit or spent time with a pet felt calmer and more comforted. -- American Academy of Pain Medicine
  • Children are found to handle the pain well before and after a medical procedure with a pet animal's help. -- Public Library of Science
  • Animal-assisted therapy decreases a patient's pain, anxiety, and fatigue and improves overall mood, based on this study. -- Complement Ther Clin Pract
  • Patients in a surgical oncology unit had experienced improved energy levels after participating in an animal-assisted therapy program. -- Clinical Journal on Oncology Nursing
  • Pet therapy helps alleviate ICU patients' psychological status and contributes to the ICU's humanization. Experts say ICU patients feel dehumanized and demoralized due to the mechanical ventilators, feeding tubes, and catheters attached to them. A little help from the "good bois" eases their anxiety and depression. -- Critical Care  

Who can benefit from the animal-assisted therapy program (and who cannot)

Here are the hospitalized individuals who may benefit from this program:

  • Kids having a dental checkup
  • People with anxiety and depression
  • People with Alzheimer's disease and dementia
  • People undergoing cancer treatment
  • People with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • People with heart diseases
  • Hospital personnel like doctors and nurses
  • Patient's visitors, such as family members, loved ones, and friends

Unfortunately, some patients are excluded from the program. They are those with:

  • Dog allergies
  • Fear of dogs
  • Uncovered open wounds
  • Tuberculosis
  • Immunosuppressed
  • Hepatitis
  • Salmonella
  • Fever of unknown origin
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Communicable virus

This is why alternative pets exist, and one of the most popular out there is the Perfect Petzzz. Not only could you utilize Perfect Petzzz in locations which do not allow actual dogs inside their facility, but these alternative pets can assist in those cases where a patient’s condition doesn’t qualify for the assistance program.

Perfect Petzzz: A Pet Therapy Buddy You Can Bring Anywhere

Not all hospitals allow animal-assisted therapy programs because they don't want to compromise their patients' immune systems, or some may have pet allergies. Luckily, you don't have to go to great lengths, like Shelby did when she snuck in Patsy. There are alternative pets such as Perfect Petzzz that can comfort patients the same way real pets can. 

Perfect Petzzz offers the same real pet ownership experience as living pets without the hassles and expenses like vet bills. It is a lifelike pet that almost feels and behaves like a real one. You don't have to worry about allergies or any health-related concerns. It is made from 100% synthetic fur.

They will also not cause a ruckus since they sleep in their soft bed 24/7. Perfect Petzzz is as great as its living counterparts because it provides the same companionship and comfort level. Do you know what it means? You can get unlimited hugs and pets from it without interruptions!

Each Perfect Petzzz bundle includes a new plush pet bed, collar with pet tag, pet brush, and adoption certificate. It is available for purchase through our Amazon site. For any other inquiries, contact us here. 

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