Summary of Safety Protocols for Every Pet Partners Therapy Animal Visit:
- Hand hygiene. Before and after every interaction, the handler and anyone wishing to pet the therapy animal must wash hands or apply hand sanitizer.
- Posted precautions. Teams are not permitted in any rooms with posted airborne, droplet, or contact precautions.
- Grooming. All animals are bathed within 24 hours of a visit.
- Barriers. If a therapy animal will be placed on facility furniture, such as a chair or bed, a barrier that is not shared between clients must be used.
- Animal health. Animals must be in good health to participate in visits. This includes being free of internal and external parasites.
- Handler health. Handlers must be in good health to visit. If a handler knows they have been exposed to coronavirus or another contagious illness, or a member of their household is currently ill, they must suspend visiting temporarily.
- Raw diet. Raw meat diets and treats carry additional risk of zoonotic contamination. Since therapy animals often interact with people whose immune systems are not optimal, raw meat food and treats are not permitted.
- Rabies. All Pet Partners therapy animals (when appropriate for the species) are required to be vaccinated against rabies, consistent with recommendations by SHEA for animals in healthcare facilities.