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In a bid to boost the well-being of their patients, a hospital in Belgium has built a pavilion to allow dogs to visit patients that require long-term care.

Most hospitals all over the world have very strict rules that won’t allow animals to visit because of hygiene and contamination risks.

Patients at the Sint-Trudo Hospital in Sint-Truiden were at least allowed to visit their pets inside the hospital’s courtyard. But now all of that has changed.

Following conversations between hospital psychologists and cancer patients, an indoor space that’s separate from the hospital, but still connected to it was built.

The official pet pavilion opened in June and has helped immensely with the well-being of patients, said the hospital’s spokesperson, Miet Driesen.

“For long-term hospital residents, mental well-being is very important in their recovery, and reconnecting with pets really helps.”

The pavilion was funded by a cancer charity so that patients can meet with pets for one hour a week. For now, only dogs and cats are allowed but it could change in the near future to allow other animals access as well.

Greta Donnay, a 56-year-old patient said a reunion with her dog Rambo did her morale great.

“Seeing your dog in itself does not cure you, but it gives you a lift.”

Image credit: People

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