Description: This is an excellent resource on the use of therapy dogs as complementary treatment for cancer patients of all ages. Research detailed in this book shows when dogs are used as part of a therapeutic regimen, there are both physiological and psychological benefits to the patient.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide detailed descriptions of the possible roles for therapy dogs for patients undergoing cancer treatment and their families. The benefits of using dog therapy as a complementary treatment are described in detail, using current research outcome summaries and graphs.
Audience: The book is intended for a wide audience physicians, nurses, social workers, child life specialists, patients and their family members, physical therapists, and other caregivers. This book would be beneficial for those involved in the care of patients with any serious disease modality. The author is both a physician and a dog therapist.
Features: After a comprehensive overview of the psychosocial and other complex issues that may occur during a patient's journey through cancer diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, there is an in-depth discussion of the use of therapy dogs, along with details on how to initiate and run a safe therapy dog program. Each chapter begins with a summary of key points and key subject words, and numerous case studies throughout further illustrate the main themes. The book presents an extensive dog-themed exercise program using color photos and descriptions of the exercises and their benefits. There is also a chapter with further resources.
Assessment: This is a valuable resource on dog therapy. With its summaries of the extensive research, the case study discussions, and the photographs of dog-themed exercises, this book should be part of the toolkit for physicians caring not only for cancer patients, but also for any patients with serious medical or psychological conditions. The importance of using dog therapy as a complementary treatment should not be underestimated.