UCI Health pet therapy dog, a black Labrador retriever, with his owner

Pet Therapy Program

Studies show that the presence of pets has a positive effect on the physical and mental health of children and adults. The UCI Health Pet Therapy Program uses trained therapy dogs to benefit patients at UC Irvine Medical Center in several ways:

  • Patients benefit from observing and interacting with pets.
  • Pets can provide an affectionate touch, something that may be missing in a hospital.
  • Pets can reduce a patient’s feelings of loneliness and decrease levels of stress and anxiety.
  • Pets can improve their vital signs and reduce the need for medication.

All dogs must be certified for pet therapy and be evaluated by our pet therapy coordinator. Proof of certification and rabies vaccination is required.

Apply today

To learn more about the pet therapy program and the registration process, email the volunteer office or call 714-456-5541.