Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Miscellaneous

Requests for Personal Pets in the Hospital (7600)

Requests for Personal Pets in the Hospital (7600) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Miscellaneous


Requests for Personal Pets in the Hospital

This paper tells you what you need to know
if you want your personal pet (dog or cat
only) to visit you in the University of
Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics or American
Family Children’s Hospital (UWHC). You
may ask to have your dog or cat visit you
when you have been in the hospital for at
least 21 days in a row, you are not expected
to go home from the hospital, or other
special conditions exist. Please read the
rules below and talk with your nurse if
you would like to make a request.

The manager of your unit may approve a
visit by one personal pet at a time for no
more than two hours and set a date, time,
and place for the visit if:
ξ Your doctor writes in the chart that a
visit is okay.
ξ Your pet can behave in a hospital.
Please understand that some pets
who are usually well-behaved have a
hard time being good in the hospital
because hospitals are stressful places
for animals (full of strange smells
and sounds).
ξ Your pet has an up-to-date
Wisconsin license and wears a
license tag.
ξ Your pet has an up-to-date rabies
vaccine and wears a rabies vaccine
ξ Your pet’s vaccine and health
records are available upon request
ξ Your pet is healthy with no
infections, open wounds, stitches, or
estrus (heat in females). Signs of
infection include vomiting, diarrhea,
leaking urine or stool, coughing,
sneezing. and runny nose.

Rules for Your Pet’s Visit
If the manager of your unit approves a visit
by your pet and sets a date, time, and place
for the visit, your pet’s visit must take place
when and where the manager tells you. You
must also follow these rules:
ξ In nearly all cases, managers choose
the clinic lobby as the place for the
pet visit and choose the evening or
weekend as the time for the pet visit.
Very rarely will a manager allow a
pet to be in a patient’s room. If your
pet is allowed to visit you in your
room and be on your bed, a towel or
sheet will be placed on your bed for
your pet to be on before your pet gets
on the bed. When the visit is over,
the towel or sheet will be taken off
your bed.
ξ Your pet will be clean, well
groomed, and free from parasites.
ξ If you have a dog, your dog will be
bathed within 24 hours of the visit
and free of ticks and fleas.

ξ If you have a cat, your cat will be
groomed with an anti-allergen
product within 24 hours of the visit.
ξ If your pet has recently been treated
for an infection, it may visit no
earlier than one week after it is done
taking antibiotics and the infection is
gone. You may need to provide a
letter of health from your pet’s
licensed veterinarian before your pet
is allowed to visit.
ξ You will wash your hands or use
hand sanitizer before and after you
touch your pet.
ξ An adult handler will be in charge of
the care of your pet while it is at

ξ UWHC. At all times, your pet must
be under the full control of the
ξ Your pet will be kept on a short,
non-retractable leash that is less than
6 feet long. Small dogs and cats may
be brought in a carrier, but must be
on a leash when out of the carrier.
ξ Your pet will be toileted and waste
disposed of before coming into the
ξ If your pet has an accident, the
handler will clean up the waste,
dispose of it by flushing, and ask
staff to have the area sanitized.
ξ Your pet will be well-behaved. Your
pet won’t jump, snarl, growl, yip,
whimper, bark, hiss, or scratch.
Your pet will be housebroken and
fully socialized.
ξ Your pet will not be in an area that
requires protective gowns, unless
cleared by the doctor on your unit
and/or Infection Control.
ξ Your pet and its handler will leave
UWHC property right away if any of
the rules written in this paper are not

Your Responsibility for Your Pet
Please know that “I” refers to “you” here. I
understand that it is a privilege, not a right,
for UWHC to allow my pet to visit me. I
understand that UWHC may withdraw
permission for my pet to visit me or be on
UWHC property at any time. I also
understand and agree to the following:
ξ My pet has to meet all of the rules
written in this paper at all times. If
my pet doesn’t meet these rules, its
handler will be asked to remove my
pet from UWHC property right
away. If the handler can’t remove
my pet, I agree that UWHC may take
any action to control and remove my
ξ If my pet bites someone, I will tell
UWHC security, UWHC Patient
Relations, or the manager on my unit
right away so that steps may be taken
to limit the spread of disease. I
understand that all animal bites must
be reported to the University of
Wisconsin Police Department at 262-
2957. I agree to work with UWHC
security to report the bite and make
sure all involved follow any rabies
observation period required by law.
If I am unwilling or unable to report
a bite, I authorize UWHC security to
notify police.
ξ I understand that, under law, I am
responsible for the actions of my pet.
I understand I will be held
responsible by UWHC for injuries or
damages caused by my pet.
ξ I understand UWHC and its staff
aren’t and can’t be responsible for
my pet. I understand that hospitals
may not be safe places for pets. If
my animal is hurt during its visit, I
understand that I alone am
ξ I understand that I may read Policy
#1.50 for related questions or
concerns about personal pet visits to
UWHC. I will also have to complete
form UWH#301571-DT.

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 2/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#7600.