Pet Therapy – Helping Patients Heal
People look to their pets for love, comfort, companionship, entertainment and security. In fact, it is scientifically proven that spending time with animals can have many positive health benefits. Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center has about 25,000 patient visits every year. Each patient is at a different stage of his or her cancer care. As a way to offer patients comfort and to brighten their days, Bronson has introduced a pet therapy program at the Cancer Care Center.
Pet therapy can be beneficial in a variety of ways when it comes to helping patients heal. Some of those ways include:
- Reducing overall physical pain
- Decreasing anxiety
- Helping with depression and reducing feelings of isolation and alienation
- Improving relaxation
- Lowering blood pressure
“Studies have shown that pet therapy results in improved well-being for cancer patients while also lowering stress and anxiety levels,” says Dr. Randy Mudge, radiation oncologist at Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center. “A cancer diagnosis can be emotionally overwhelming. Our desire is to make the journey through cancer care as positive as possible by offering programs such as this to enhance the patient experience.”
What can someone expect when using the pet therapy services at the Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center? Here are a few quick facts.
- Who is the pet therapy dog? Sparty the greyhound is a retired racing dog and started volunteering at Bronson in Kalamazoo in 2016
- When can cancer patients use pet therapy? When Sparty is visiting the office, patients are welcome to sit with him as needed. If patients wish to visit him outside of their scheduled appointment they can come to the Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center when he is scheduled to visit.
- How do they set up a time for this? Call (269) 245-8660 to find out when Sparty is visiting the Cancer Care Center.
- Are there any restrictions? There aren’t any restrictions with pet therapy. Each cancer patient is welcome to use this service.
- Are there other support services available? The Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center offers several support services including an onsite social worker, financial counselor and dietitian as well as a survivorship program, pastoral care and advanced illness management.
For more information about the pet therapy program or additional services at the Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center, call (269) 245-8660 or visit bronsonhealth.com/cancer.