Majorcan hospital now allowing visits by patients’ dogs.

Published:  11 Dec at 6 PM
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Patients receiving treatment at a Majorcan hospital can now have visits from their much-loved dogs.

As long as a doctor and a veterinary give approval, expats who’re missing their canine best friends will be able to arrange visits as they’re considered helpful in reducing the anxiety of being in hospital. The visits, allowed for patients in the ICU but due to be extended to other departments, are now taking place in the gardens of Palma’s Son Llatzer Hospital, with a dog trainer also in attendance.

The service, now known as Dogspital, is based on a similar initiative first introduced at Ibiza’s Can Misses Hospital in 2017, and begins with a request by an individual patient. Before a visit is set up, the patient’s doctor will decide whether the patient’s clinical condition is suitable and a vet will inspect the dog for diseases and parasites as well as checking it’s received all necessary vaccinations. The dog trainer will then assess the dog and stay with it during the visit.

Dogs are famous for reducing anxiety in their owners, and are also credited with stimulating memory through interaction and communication, with the visits themselves being presented as a major part of the hospital’s intention to humanise the services provided to its patients. Given that patients who’re missing their beloved furry friends will welcome this initiative, it’s also a step in the right direction as regards the recovery process itself.

Expats, especially those in retirement, often adopt rescue dogs from local shelters and miss them terribly should they need to be away for whatever reason, even although family or friends are on hand to look after them. In addition, research has shown that owning a dog has a positive effect on health in general, especially for older expats. It’s to be hoped this initiative spreads across more Spanish expat retiree destinations, both for the sake of the owners and for their dogs.
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