Family Pet Visitation Guidelines

Request a Pet (dog/cat) Visitation

  1. Ask the nurse if a dog or cat family pet is permitted to visit on the unit and if your family member or friend is eligible, based upon his or her medical condition.
  2. Obtain a Family Pet Visitation Program Health Certificate from the nurse and have it completed by your veterinarian. Vaccines must have been administered within the past 12 months, but not within the previous 14 days. Return the form to the nurse at least 24 hours prior to the pet visit.
  3. You must also have received, completed and returned the following forms to the nurse:
    1. Consent for Participation in the Family Pet or Certified Dog Visitation programs.
    2. Release from Responsibility Waiver for the Family Pet or Certified Dog Visitation programs.

Prior to Each Hospital Visit

  1. Talk to the nurse to arrange the date, time and location of the pet visit. If the visit is to be in your family member or friend's room, the roommate must consent before the visit can take place.
  2. Check the pet's overall health and attitude. Observe the pet for 24 hours prior to a scheduled visit. Do not bring a pet with diarrhea or other illness into the hospital.
  3. Bathe and groom the pet within 24 hours prior to the visit. Make sure that the pet is free of fleas and ticks. Dog nails should be trimmed short.
  4. If your pet is a dog, walk him or her to encourage urination before entering the hospital. Please bring a plastic bag or other proper equipment for disposal of waste.
  5. Do not feed the pet within 2 hours of the visit.
  6. Obtain directions to the location of the visit from the nurse. The nurse will tell you the appropriate way to bring the pet into the building. You will go through areas of decreased traffic fl ow. The nurse will identify which outside entrance and stairwells to use to reach the family member or friend's room or designated area for the visit.
  7. Elevators should be avoided. If you must share an elevator, ask the other passengers for their consent before entering, and warn people seeking entrance to the elevator that a dog or cat is on board.

During a Hospital Visit

  1. Be on time for the scheduled visit.
  2. Notify the nurse when you are ready for the visit.
  3. Keep the pet on a leash or in a pet carrier at all times. Throughout the visit, the pet must remain under your direct supervision at all times. Do not tie the pet to equipment or furniture or hand the leash to other people.
  4. Before entering the room, ask permission of all those present in the room. Ask if anyone has animal allergies or asthma. If they do, do not enter the room. Contact the nurse.
  5. The nursing staff will post a sign on the door indicating that there is a dog or cat in the room.
  6. Always stay with the pet and be in control of the situation.
  7. If the pet is going to be placed on the bed, wait for the patient's nurse to place a sheet on the bed.
  8. If the pet has an "accident " while in the hospital, please clean it up immediately.
    1. Soak up pet urine using paper towels and pick up the soaked paper towels or excrement using a plastic bag. Invert the bag, tie securely, and place in the trash.
    2. Animal feces may be placed in the toilet.
    3. Wash your hands immediately.
    4. Ask the patient's nurse to notify housekeeping staff.
  9. In the event of an injury to a patient, visitor, staff or pet:
    1. End the visit.
    2. Immediately notify the patient's nurse.
  10. Wash your hands at the end of the visit and before leaving the patient's room.