There’s no doubt that for children, the presence of a dog in a hospital environment brings hope. In his study, The Child and Animal Mediation, François Beiger examines this new form of therapy and the extraordinary benefit it brings to sick children.
Numerous studies carried out in Canada and the Unites States have shown that animals can help people in hospitals to accept their illnesses more easily. It has been proven that young children and adolescents in pediatric oncology units find the use of zootherapy very beneficial. François Beiger, founder of the French Institute of Zootherapy, knows the extent to which a child’s affective confidence can be restored by the presence of a dog, its receptiveness to contact and relationships.
Links created in this way between animals and children make the time they have to spend at the hospital and their treatment periods easier to deal with. They also help accelerate and encourage contact with healthcare professionals.
The presence of a dog also reduces anxiety and distress, and increases physical and psychological well being. Nausea caused by treatment gets reduced as well. All this has a reassuring effect on the parents, too.