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FHN Beyond Words Pet Therapy Program Overview

Chemo patient with dog named Harry As man's – and woman's – best friend joins clinical practices from cancer treatment to psychological therapy, we are pleased to offer the services of therapy dog teams at FHN. Each therapy dog team (dog and handler) must meet our strict eligibility criteria and successfully complete a nationally standardized behavioral exam administered at Carlson Canine Camp in Freeport.

The benefits of pet therapy are well-documented and have become integrated in mainstream medicine. With depression directly affecting 10% of us every year (indirectly impacting up to 25% of a community), therapy dogs like those in FHN's Beyond Words Pet Therapy program lend a strong therapeutic effect both in provider offices as well as at patients' homes.

Dogs are naturally interactive and provide relief during long days in healthcare settings, helping patients shift their focus away from discomfort or anxiety. The animals' unconditional love and attention brighten everyone's day – patients, families, visitors, and staff alike.

Medical research has shown that a visit from a therapy dog can initiate and sustain physiological signs of relaxation such as decreased blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate as well as providing encouragement and lightening the environment in physical and/or emotional therapy and rehabilitation.

The human health value of a furry friend shouldn't be underestimated!

FHN's Pet Therapy Program is brought to you through FHN Family Counseling.