Having to go to hospital can be an upsetting time, especially for children.
A children’s hospital in the Croatian capital of is trying to change that with the help of cute furry friends.
Certified therapy dogs, who are trained to provide affection and comfort, will soon be helping patients at the Clinic for Children’s Diseases in Zagreb.
There is evidence that therapy dogs not only provide patients comfort, but also a number of health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and respiration rates, and increasing oxygen levels.
The young patients will listen to educational stories about animals, learning how to treat them as well as being with them. They will then get to play with the therapy dogs which will be from the Croatian Guide Dog Society.
The project is the initiative of Djeca prijatelji životinja (Children, friends of animals) with the aim to also raise awareness of quality coexistence of children and dogs and to prevent animal abuse.
“We want to make it easier for children who have been hospitalised and at the same time develop their empathy,” Sanja Kolaček, head of the Department of Pediatrics, told daily 24sata.
The programme is set to start early next month.