Furry Friends

Note: To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Certified Dog Visitation program is temporarily suspended. If you need to be accompanied by a service dog during your visit, please call 1-800-777-8442 in advance to request approval.

Pet Partners pictureHave you considered volunteering with your dog? We always have more requests for visits from patients than our dog/handler teams can provide. There is great information on the Pet Partners website about volunteering. You can also watch their Volunteering with Your Pet video and take their short, fun quiz to find out if you and your pet would make a great Pet Partners Therapy team!

Family Pet and Certified Dog Visitation Programs

Research shows that relationships with animals have a positive influence on health. Interacting with pets can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, decrease loneliness, and enhance feelings of well-being. Furry Friends allows patients to experience the joy of a visiting pet, either their own dog or a dog certified for hospital visits. The program has bought much pleasure to patients since it began in August 2003.

Therapy dog with patient

Family Pet Visitation Program

At University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, a family pet may visit a hospitalized family member. Visits are limited to dogs or cats that are at least six months old, in good health, and are well-tempered. The hospital reserves the right to deny pet visitations if the pet is deemed unsuitable for the hospital environment. This program is administered by the nursing staff on approved units.

Certified Dog Visitation Program

Patients at UI Hospitals & Clinics and UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital may wish to have a visit from a specially screened dog. These dogs are tested for good health and temperament. The hospital reserves the right to deny a visit if it is deemed unsuitable for our patient(s). This program is administered by our Rehabilitation Therapies staff on approved units.

Therapy dog picture
Therapy dog Skeeter and nurse
Therapy dog playing with patient