A children’s hospital in US has developed a new “pet therapy” under which a golden retriever dog visits patients in intensive care to cheer them up.

The eight-year-old dog, Jake, visited the Le Bonheur Children’s hospital in Tennessee, and met a six-year-old patient Alex Gosa as a part of the hospital’s new Pet Therapy scheme.

The boy, who lost a toe in an accident recently, stroked the golden retriever as part of “doctor’s orders”.

When he was told the dog is two years older than him the boy replied: “I’m catching up with him.”

The treatment, more commonly known as AAT -animal-assisted therapy- has been used to treat patients with mental and physical health problems since the late 18th century, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

The study published in the US Early Childhood Education Journal showed that children in particular benefit from AAT.

Originally posted by Cris Zimermann on July 31, 2014 in Featured.

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