Family Dog Visits 

Your dog is an important part of your family and can play an important part in helping your child feel better. To arrange a visit with your dog, please read the information below.

smiling boy

General guidelines:

  • Dogs only.
  • Puppies must be at least 12 weeks old and potty trained.
  • Your doctor must write an order for the visit.
  • Visits limited to 30 minutes.
child with dog

Before the visit:

  • Talk with your child life specialist to arrange a date and time for the visit.
  • Take your family dog to the veterinarian who must complete and sign the health certificate.
  • Give health certificate to your child life specialist.
  • You will have to sign Release and Indemnification form.
  • Do not bring a dog with diarrhea or other illness into the hospital.
  • Bathe and brush the dog within 24 hours of the visit. Make sure that the dog is free of fleas and ticks.
  • A volunteer or child life specialist will walk with you and your dog to a grassy area before coming into the hospital (please bring a plastic bag for the waste).
  • Do not feed the dog within 2 hours of the visit.
  • Your child life specialist will tell you where the room to visit is located; visits can't take place in your child's room.

During the visit:

  • Be on time for the visit.
  • A parent or caregiver must be present during the visit.
  • The parent or caregiver who accompanies the dog is totally responsible for the care of the dog while at Wolfson and must stay with the pet the entire visit.
  • Dogs may visit their own human companions - not other patients.
  • Dogs should wear a standard collar; no harness, chain or choke collars.
  • Dogs must be on a leash not more than four feet long (no retractable leashes).
  • No food is allowed in the room.
  • The parent or caregiver must clean up any pet soil using a plastic bag, discard it into a trash can and wash hands.
  • Your child life specialist or a volunteer will accompany your child and family during the visit.
  • People who touch the pet must perform hand hygiene at the end of the visit.
  • A visit will be stopped if your dog is perceived as a threat.
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