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Animal-assisted Therapy at The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Olive the therapy dog interacting with child patient

Animal-assisted therapy offers our patients positive human-animal interactions in a clinical setting, bringing emotional support at a vulnerable time.

Our teams visit children and adults throughout The Johns Hopkins Hospital on a regular basis. With more than 15 volunteer therapy dog teams in service, we believe that animal-assisted therapy improves the wellbeing of our patients, staff and family members.

The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial relationship between people and animals that positively influences the health and well-being of both. Research, combined with human intuition, recognizes the impact the human-animal bond can have on health.

Research has demonstrated that therapy dogs:

  • Positively affected patients’ pain levels and satisfaction with their hospital stay
  • Significantly increased positive social behaviors among children with autism
  • Provided social support, lowered blood pressure, and made improvements in pain, mood and other measures of distress.

Animal-assisted therapy is offered at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. For more information, contact

If you are interested in becoming an animal-assisted therapy volunteer please apply here. If you are interested in becoming an animal-assisted therapy facilitator please contact

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