Pet therapy: sick children can hug their dogs at the hospital

he sick children can finally meet their dogs. The initiative ” It takes a friend ” allows it, created to allow patients admitted to the pediatric ward of the Milanese hospital to have a space to interact with their pets and to take advantage, in agreement with Frida’s Friends onlus, of a service of pet therapy.

It is the first time that a hospital has made available to children who want to “play” with their dog a fenced and equipped area, 6 meters by 2, with washable artificial grass carpet, steel manger for food and water. , hand shower for cleaning, scoop and container for manure.

Not a shelter, therefore, but a real “space for play” in the garden in front of the Pediatric House, where the little patient will be able to recover part of his daily “normalcy” with his four-legged friend. All in full compliance with safety and basic hygiene standards.

Prof. Luca Bernanrdo, director of the Mother and Child Department of the Fatebenefratelli Hospital and promoter of the project, underlined :

“A further step forward, demonstrating that healthcare means quality and attention to the person and his needs. Our patients come not only from Milan or Lombardy but from all over Italy and even from Europe. Bringing your animals to the hospital means avoiding that the emotional bond is interrupted with the therapy or the hospital wall. Thanks to the collaboration with the frida’s friends association, we will put in place pet therapy projects for patients who have behavioral and neurological problems “.

Outside the dedicated area, access to hospital wards remains blocked due to allergies that other patients may suffer from. But the hospital has also found valid substitutes: 7 ‘intelligent’ robot dogs , which should soon become 10.

“A splendid idea, a real gift for all the little patients of the Fatebenefratelli. Not by chance – explains Hon. Michela Vittoria Brambilla – I speak of “gift”. It is now recognized that contact and interaction with pets generate well-being and improve people’s quality of life, both physically and psychologically “.

At the presentation, the Lombard Councilor for Health Mario Mantovani added :

“At Fatebenefratelli, the little patients will now be able to come to the hospital in the moments of care by bringing their four-legged friends. Getting away from home, especially for a child, is always a difficult time, so the fact of being able to have your own dog here, caress and be close to him I think is an important comfort. The Fatebenefratelli hospital today therefore carries out a project of high social value “.

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