HEALTH board staff across Ayrshire have been enjoying a touch of furry therapy after a canine charity paid them a visit.

The Therapet service, run by the Canine Concern Scotland Trust charity, brings volunteer dogs, and their owners, to hospitals and other healthcare settings, offering stress relief to those who need it.

The service recently visited the Wellbeing Centres at Ayrshire Central Hospital and University Hospitals Ayr and Crosshouse, creating an opportunity for the health and care system staff to get respite from their taxing work schedules.

Ayr Advertiser: Animal companionship is known to have a calming effect on the human psyche

Animal companionship is known to have a calming effect on the human psyche.

Stroking a dog is found to slow down the heartbeat, reduce blood pressure, and reduce stress and anxiety.

Tracy Scott, wellbeing lead for NHS Ayrshire & Arran, said: "The dogs coming into the centre has been a great success and we are thankful to them and their owners for coming along.

"It is important that our staff are supported to remain well so they can continue to provide care to our patients.

"This was a unique opportunity for our staff to take some time away from their busy jobs to try and de-stress, relax and focus on their mental health by spending a few moments with the dogs.

"Staff who came along on their breaks found the experience really paw-sitive with the added bonus of a cuddle from one of their new furry friends."

To find out more about the Therapet service take a look at