Senior citizens across Scotland have been visited by rescue dogs looked after by the SSPA, to celebrate National Dog Day.
Buddy visited Beech Manor Care Home, Blairgowrie, while Reb the Jack Russell and Gem, a Black Labrador went to Cowdray Club Care Home, Aberdeen, and met the residents.
The positive impact of animals on the elderly, particularly those with dementia has been well-researched and documented.
Animals and pets can help trigger positive memories and emotions, and have been found to stabilise mood, reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, and increase a sense of independence.
For the rescue dogs, it was equally as important to visit some affectionate friends, while waiting to be adopted to new homes.
Dorothy Cameron, 88 said: “It was a lovely way to spend the morning and reminded me of the dogs in our house when I was growing up. They are excellent companions and it was nice to spend time with both Reb and Gem.”
Kelly Loggie, manager of Cowdray Club Care Home said: “The dogs’ visit was a fantastic experience for our residents, they loved getting to spend time with them.
“We are always mindful of organising activities which will allow our residents with dementia to be included, and which will reduce their symptoms and help them to feel happy and positive.”
Sheila Baxter, activities coordinator of Beech Manor Care Home said: “It’s amazing to see the effect that being around animals has on our residents, it makes such a difference to their mood and brightens their day.
“We aim to ensure that all our residents are physically and mentally fulfilled, so we keep a busy schedule of events to ensure that everyone is involved and engaged.”
Scottish SPCA Aberdeen Rescue and Rehoming Centre manager Graeme Innes said: “Every day is international dog day at the Scottish SPCA so we were delighted to take one of our former residents to the Renaissance care home in Aberdeen.
“Our team enjoyed visiting the residents and we know that Rebel loved meeting lots of new friends.
“Dogs can bring such joy and having a dog around can have a calming effect on those around them.
“The Scottish SPCA does extensive research into the benefits of pets on mental health. They are companions when people are lonely, an excuse to get out of the house and a constant, loving presence.
“We have many dogs in our care in need of their forever home. Please visit www.scottishspca.org/rehome or feel free to visit one of our centres and speak to our teams who will be more than happy to help.”
Beech Manor and Cowdray Club are run by Renaissance Care, which recently welcomed miniature Shetland ponies to its Jesmond Care Home, Aberdeen.