Pet Visits to Mott Hospital

During a long hospital stay, a visit from a beloved pet can make our patients feel better! To arrange for a pet visit for a Mott Hospital patient, first talk with the patient’s nurse. The nurse will give you a health certificate that must be completed by a veterinarian and approved by the child’s physician.

Visits are limited to dogs. No other types of animals are allowed to visit.

When to Visit

The family, the patient’s nurse and, if necessary, a Child Life staff member will agree on a time for the pet visit. The patient’s nurse or a Child Life staff member will accompany the patient and family during the visit. The patient’s health determines the length of the visit. The maximum visit is two hours.

Where Pets Can Visit

  • University Hospital courtyard 
  • Patient’s room, if private 
  • Mott Hospital activity rooms (coordinated with the Child & Family Life team) 

Where Pets Cannot Visit 

In general, visitation should not be permitted in the following situations unless there has been prior discussion/agreement between the clinical team and IPE: 

  • Patients in contact, airborne, or droplet precautions 
  • Patients in intensive care units 
  • Patients whose cognitive status would result in an inability to safely interact with the animal 
  • Patients that have undergone recent solid organ or stem cell transplant or who are significantly immunocompromised 


  • Pets must be over 1 year of age and housebroken. 
  • Pets may visit their own human companions - not other patients.
  • The adult who accompanies the pet is totally responsible for the care and management of the visiting pet while the pet is at Mott. That adult must stay with the pet during the entire visit. The adult must clean up any pet soil and inform a nurse so that Housekeeping can sanitize the area.
  • The adult handler must follow any requests made by the nurse.
  • While on hospital premises, the pet must remain on a collar or harness and leash, or in a pet carrier.
  • People who touch the pet must wash their hands.
  • Pets must not lick patients.


It’s Showtime! Getting the Pet Visitor Ready

  • Bathe, groom and exercise dogs before they visit. Walk dogs outside before they come into Mott Hospital.
  • Brush cats, and apply an anti-allergen grooming product.
  • Stop feeding the animal at least two hours before the visit and do not feed the pet while it is visiting.


Termination of Visiting Privileges

While we recognize the beneficial effects of pet visits, we also want to protect the health and safety of all Mott patients. As such, we may terminate pet visitation privileges at any time, if necessary.

Pet Therapy

For information about volunteer pets (pets whose hospital visits are managed by an organization that specializes in pet therapy), visit the Therapaws website.