Eskenazi Health’s Pet Therapy program was established to facilitate health and healing for patients, visitors, and staff. Today, 10 therapy dogs and numerous volunteers are part of the Eskenazi Health Pet Therapy program. The dogs must meet training and other requirements before they are able to see patients, including: dogs have to be at least one year old, have all vaccinations, complete three training classes, and be officially certified as a therapy dog.
The therapy dogs are trained to provide affection and comfort to people in the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital. The dogs provide healthy diversions from hospital routines and an opportunity for social interaction. Various studies have demonstrated the many beneficial effects therapy pets have on people, including lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure, improvements in loneliness and depression scores, faster recovery times, and increased energy and resilience. In fact, just a 12-minute visit with a therapy dog has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate in patients with heart and lung impairments.
The Eskenazi Health Pet Therapy program is available to provide comfort and facilitate healing and happiness for anyone who needs it. Patients and staff can request a visit from a therapy dog or nurses can arrange a visit for patients who they feel could benefit from interaction with a dog.
If you would like to donate to support Eskenazi Health’s Pet Therapy program, please click here.
If you have questions about the Pet Therapy program, or would like to know more, please contact Kerry Dinneen at Kerry.Dinneen@EskenaziHealthFoundation.org or 317.880.4903.
The Eskenazi Health Pet Therapy program was made possible, in part, by generous support from The Hulman & Company Foundation and The Moorehead Family Foundation.