18 Feb, 2023 @ 10:30
1 min read

Therapy with dogs can alleviate pain in childhood cancer by 30% Spanish experts say

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Spain has more than twice as many pets as children under the age of 15 Credit: Pixabay

RESEARCH evidence is indicating that being visited by a therapy dog can have a positive effect on reducing patient stress, pain and anxiety.

So, though dog-assisted therapies don’t cure, they can reduce pain .

In fact, according to recent calculations by The Chair of Animals and Society of the Rey Juan Carlos University (URJC), in the case of paediatric cancer, pain can be alleviated by up to 30%.

The dog therapy focuses on post-cancer rehabilitation and survival where psychological pain is very common in children and animal therapies help them to cope with it.

This type of therapy is also offered in hospitalisation. Children with cancer require prolonged hospitalisation and this causes fear, pain and uncertainty, which is why humanising the stay with dog-assisted interventions makes it bearable and even makes the memory of the hospital a friendly one.

According to the coordinator of this URJC chair, Nuria Maximo, who has been working with children and adolescents with cancer and other pathologies in different hospitals since 2019, has concluded that therapy with dogs can alleviate pain in childhood cancer by 30%.


Therapy dogs to be used in the paediatric unit of Axarquia Hospital

Cuddly Canine in pet therapy program helps reduce stress in children having blood drawn in Spain’s Granada

Cristina Hodgson

Half English, half Spanish animal person. Cristina loves writing about all things fitness, travel and culture, she is also a script writer and novelist. When she's not typing away, you can find her enjoying outdoor sports somewhere off the beaten track in Andalucia. If you have a story get in touch! [email protected]

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