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Hospitals May Start Allowing Pets to Visit

Hospitals are coming to recognize the therapeutic value of pet visits.

Now, if there’s ever been a place where you’d think that the “no pets allowed” policy would never be lifted, a hospital is it! But according to The Triangle Business Journal, the policies at some hospitals are nevertheless starting to change.

At WakeMed Health & Hospitals, for example, long term patients who are healthy enough may visit a pet as long as the pet is cleared by hospital staff; the visit is only allowed in certain areas.

Of course, there are infection concerns, which is why hospitals are treading lightly, but there is little doubt in the power of a healing paw. WakeMed has had a form of a hospitality pets program since 1987 after an injured man in rehab responded amazingly well after visiting with a dog, says Marie Johnson, manager of Volunteer Services at WakeMed’s Raleigh Campus. That program now has 50 dogs across Wake Med’s campuses that make 6000 annual visits.

These dogs are specially trained and screened and are not the household pets allowed to visit on special occasions.

Of course, the concept of allowing pet visits in the hospital is relatively new, so you’d want to call ahead before assuming any local hospital will make your dog or cat welcome. You should also consider whether or not your furry friend will react well to being in a strange environment.

The program also only allows a visit, which means that if you are hospitalized you’ll still need to make some provisions for the care of your pet. Why not try Pet Peeps? Give your furry friend the reassuring presence of a trained caregiver during this difficul time. Working with Pet Peeps means you (or a hospitalized loved one) can have peace of mind about your pets while you focus on getting well. Get your pets some peeps today!

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