Introduction: Though the animal assisted therapy and the animal assisted activity with animal visiting are widely introduced to general hospitals in Japan, the report of those activities in palliative care units (PCU) of general hospitals are few. Methods: In June 2013 therapy dogs started to visit our PCU with the help of NHO Japan Animal Association. We discussed on the effects and the problems as a part of the palliative care about this activity. Results: Three therapists with 3 therapy dogs came to our hospital twice a month and the total number of 487 patients took part in 73 sessions until September 2016. Those activities made the patients and their families felt better and their communications with staffs were improved. No adverse effects concerning the safety and health were observed in those activities. Discussion: The reliable training and infection control of animals can make easy the introduction of animal therapy to the PCU of a general hospital. Visiting of therapy dogs can provide the healing to not only the patients and their families, but also the staffs in the PCU.
2016 by Japanese Society for Palliative Medicine