Animal Assisted Therapy

The CHOP Pet Therapy Program was founded on the belief that dogs offer therapeutic value to children that human family members and hospital staff cannot provide.

This program gives children the opportunity to interact safely with registered therapy dogs and receive their unconditional love and acceptance in the hopes of making the hospital environment more comfortable and less stressful. Some additional benefits of pet therapy are:

  • Positive therapeutic experiences that help minimize the stress of the hospital environment
  • Support of the child’s overall social, physical and emotional development
  • Reduced anxiety and enhanced coping skills
  • A distraction from illness and hospitalization
  • Increased normalization of the hospital experience: interacting with a dog can make the hospital feel more "home-like"

The Pet Therapy Program has two different elements: