Minimizing the Risk of a Working K9 in Health Care

Making it safe
by lowering the RISK

Meeting a high standard

to protect patients and staff

Minimize the Risk with Protocols

The health and safety of your patients and staff is a major consideration of allowing a dog to work in your facility.  
The C-diff dog is not a feel-good therapy animal, but a working dog trained for the specific task of locating C-diff on surfaces in contaminated  areas among people with health and behaviour problems.   

The  Bacteria Scent Kit

We use the odour of three strains of C.difficile for scent work training. Fresh C-diff positive stool samples could be used, but that would not be approved by the lab, legal and ethics.   For training and verification, we developed a scent kit with the  odour of  NAP1/027 on cotton tips, without  any pathogens, so it is safe to use anywhere.   

Lowering the Risk with  Standards

The selection and training of a handler follows the  published guidelines of Interior Search with Hospital Protocols.   This standard includes routine practice for the handler and for the K9. Read and download the standards.

Acute and Long-Term Care Protocols

A study by Guelph University  shows that dogs can spread germs and cause harm. 
We have protocols to protect staff, patients, visitors, the handler, and the K9.


1. Lefebvre, Sandra, U of G Researchers Find Prevalence of Disease in Therapy Dogs Researchers at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College have found that 80 per cent of therapy dogs are carrying zoonotic diseases that can potentially pass from animals to people. The study also points out that routine practice minimizes the risk. Fetch it here

2. Sandra L. Lefebvre, DVM, PhDa, Gail C. Golab, PhD, DVMb, E'Lise Christensen, DVMc, Louisa Castrodale, DVM, MPHd, Kathy Aureden, MS, CICe, Anne Bialachowski, RN, MS, CICf, Nigel Gumley, DVMg, Judy Robinsonh, Andrew Peregrine, DVM, PhDa, Marilyn Benoit, RNi, Mary Lou Card, RN, CICj, Liz Van Horne, RN, CICk, J. Scott Weese, DVM, DVSca. Guidelines for animal-assisted interventions in health care facilities.. This report provides standard guidelines for animal-assisted interventions in health care facilities. Fetch, good girl

3. Quinte Health Care, Accessibility – Service Animals, Pet Visitation and Therapy Dogs. Not all hospitals have a written policy for dogs in their hospital, this policy from Belleville Ontario says pets are a good idea, and so is hand hygiene. Lap it up here

CKC Rules: Infectious Diseases: Know the Risks and Take Steps to Minimize Exposure Members spend large amounts of time and money attending events, here are the rules for keeping their dogs safe. Section 8 states: Anyone handling dogs should wash their hands thoroughly for at least 30 seconds, scrubbing thoroughly with soap and warm water between handling different dogs and frequently throughout the day during a show to minimize as far as possible transmission of infections. If proper hand-washing facilities are not accessible at a show, use an alcohol-containing hand sanitizer product. Digest it here