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It was smiles all round as residents at Ashfield Nursing Home were visited by two therapy dogs recently. Cocker Spaniel, Opie and Golden Retriever, Bella, are part of a therapy dog programme run by Moment to Paws. The residents, many of whom have lived their life with pets, were able to watch and interact with the dogs during the visit.

Activities coordinator, Kyrstine Wilson, said: “The health and wellbeing of our residents is hugely important and pet therapy is just one of the ways in which we are proactively supporting them. The visit from Moment to Paws was extremely well received, and it was brilliant to see so many residents enjoying the experience.”

Opie at Ashfield Care Home

Pet therapy has grown in popularity over recent years due to the wide ranging benefits that it can bring. Interacting with dogs for just short periods of time has been shown to improve mental health, reduce blood pressure, alleviate feelings of loneliness, unlock memories and even reduce chronic pain. 

And it wasn’t just the residents who benefitted, with many staff taking advantage of the opportunity to have a cuddle with the dogs too. 

Founder of Moment to Paws, Kate Bolland commented: “I will never get tired of watching people interact with the dogs. In an instant, people forget about everything else that’s happening and they become completely present. It’s almost as though you can see the stress melting away! 

“It’s an honour to be working with Ashfield Nursing Home who are truly embracing the power of pet therapy. Interacting with dogs helps to unlock memories and it was amazing to hear the residents share stories about pets that they’ve had in their lifetime.”

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