Dogs Trust has teamed up with leading cardiac rehabilitation experts to launch Hounds Help Hearts, a programme that encourages post coronary patients to walk dogs as part of their recovery.
Dogs Trust has teamed up with leading cardiac rehabilitation experts at Harefield Hospital to launch Hounds Help Hearts, a programme that encourages post coronary patients to walk dogs as part of their recovery.
The recovery programme, hailed as a UK first, encourages post-coronary patients to walk dogs as part of their recovery. To facilitate this, the cardiac rehabilitation team at Harefield Hospital is introducing patients to Dogs Trust Harefield where they can help staff, canine residents and themselves by walking some of the 150 dogs in their care.
Hounds Help Hearts is part of a wider initiative to promote The Dog Prescription – a 10 point prescription style document that highlights the mental and physical benefits of dog ownership and interaction and names dog ownership as an aid to the recovery of post coronary patients.
Dogs Trust hopes that heart hospitals UK wide will follow suit, and is urging GPs all over the UK to prescribe a daily dose of dog.
Lynda Evans, senior nurse /modern matron at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, says: “Walking is one of the best forms of exercise for patients recovering from a cardiac event and what better way to do it than alongside a grateful canine companion.
“We are delighted to be working with Dogs Trust on this initiative and partnering patients with dogs to help them reach their full potential through interaction and physical exercise.”
Dogs Trust CEO Clarissa Baldwin said: “We undertook this research as we were aware of the health benefits of dog ownership but wanted to fully evaluate its potential. Among its 10 points (which are not exhaustive), the prescription details health benefits including the fact that dogs can aid the recovery of post coronary patients.
“We want to spread the word about the health benefits of dogs and we hope that GPs and hospitals will start to encourage patients to engage with dogs for a healthier and happier lifestyle.”