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New ‘therapy dog’ puts smiles on faces at Northwick Park Hospital

A new therapy dog is putting smiles on patients’ faces at Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow.

‘Toffi’ is bringing joy to all she meets on here once-a-week trip to Northwick Park as the hospital’s new pet therapy dog. The six-year-old Goldendoodle from Harrow, a cross between a retriever and poodle, visits wards with owner Sonal Popat.

“She’s a big softy and enjoys all the attention,” says Sonal, as Toffi visits patients at the hospital.


Research has shown that the presence of a dog can have a positive impact on physiology and psychology and help reduce stress levels. Nowadays, Pets As Therapy dogs support patients in hospitals and visit retirement and nursing homes, hospices, schools, colleges and universities, and even courtrooms. They can be really good for your overall health and well-being.

In addition, multiple studies have found that being around animals, especially dogs, can improve moods and reduce the risk of developing depression. Other studies have found that dogs in particular can support decreasing feelings of anxiety and sadness as well as increasing physical activity.

New 'therapy dog' puts smiles on faces at Northwick Park Hospital Harrow Online
Sonal and Toffi. Credit: London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust

So what’s the way to Toffi’s heart? “Cheddar cheese. Extra strong”, added her owner Sonal.

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