Note: To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Furry Friends program is temporarily suspended. Only service dogs are allowed into our hospitals and clinics. If you need to be accompanied by a service dog during your visit, please call 1-800-777-8442 in advance to request approval.

Furry Friends Devin and a dogFamily 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. 

Family Pet Visitation Program

At University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and University of Iowa 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 two years old, in good health, and are well tempered. The hospital reserves the right to deny pet visitation 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 not suitable for our patient. This program is administered by Rehabilitation Therapies staff on approved units.