The North East care home using dogs to boost the wellbeing of its residents

A North East care home has started a regular ‘dog café’ that allows residents to interact with dogs every week in order to combat loneliness and unlocking memories.

Tyne Grange care home in Newcastle has set up a weekly project to help those in its care, many of whom have had pets previously, to be around animals and improve their mental health.

Through introducing older people to a Sprocker Spaniel named Indie, it’s allowed wellbeing to improve and many other health benefits.

Pet therapy has grown in popularity over recent years due to the wide-ranging benefits it can bring including combatting loneliness, boosting activity levels, as well as reducing stress and depression.

The care home, located on Grainger Road, introduced the weekly dog café for the home’s residents, who are living with a range of complex conditions including neuro disabilities and dementia.

Helen Wilson, physiotherapist at Tyne Grange, said: “Indie has been coming to Tyne Grange every Friday since the home first opened in 2020, when she was around seven months old.

“Most Fridays we do a 'dog cafe' where all residents come down to our communal area and Indie will be there to play with.

“The residents enjoy going out and buying treats and toys for her and will practice training her with tricks.

“Pet therapy is just one of the ways we promote people’s health and wellbeing.

“Not only does dog therapy encourage physical activity, it encourage conversation and social interaction between residents and colleagues, who will laugh together and engage with each other when the dog is around.”