Hospice care staff are some of the most amazing people you will ever meet. They dedicate themselves to this challenging time of life with such grace and kindness. They continuously strive to make the time spent at a hospice as comfortable as possible. This has seen many pets as therapy programs introduced across the country.
Generally, the pets registered under this scheme are cats or dogs. They work with their owners who volunteer both their own time and the love of their pet to bring happiness to other people. Known as PAT animals; there are certain character traits needed from the dog or cat. They must obviously enjoy interacting with people, be bold and confident, and have an excellent level of training as they must be entirely under control at all times. A registered PAT dog can then go with their owner to local hospices and spend time with the patients, and families if they happen to be visiting.
Animals can often sense the feelings of a person, whether they are sad, or scared and anxious, even in pain. Due to their nature, PAT dogs are more common than any other animal. They seem to understand immediately that a person needs support and love. Stroking a dog is proven to lower blood pressure and bring about a sense of calm. Their unconditional approval towards people makes the patients feel happier. Patients often ask when the PAT dogs will be coming. It gives them something to look forward to in sad times. PAT dogs have a habit of bringing smiles and joy. It makes the end of life period a little more bearable for those involved. It brings people out of themselves when rates of depression and low mood are high when facing the end of our time. Dogs are just so lovable, especially for those who were also dog owners themselves before they were ill.
There is always a demand for PAT animals. It is an entirely voluntary service that relies on the generosity of pet owners with their time and beloved pet. Pets should only work for two hours at a time and then be rested. If you think that you have a pet suitable and are happy to donate your time, then you could consider registering your pet. To qualify you must have owned your pet for more than six months, and the animal must be over nine months of age. Your pet must be fully vaccinated, and an assessment will be carried out. You can request an application pack from Pets as Therapy on the website, and they will be delighted to discuss things further.