“It’s fun to go into elderly patients’ rooms at an assisted living facility,
and watch their faces light up as a horse walks in! A horse?!”

Leslie Paradise
Pet Partner with Rebel

Equipment Requirements

All animals, regardless of species, must wear a collar or harness and be leashed while working as a therapy animal team. The equipment that teams use when visiting must be safe and humane for the animal, and also safe for the handler and the people that are visited. The type of equipment that your animal wears during the evaluation is the same type that it must wear when visiting.

Watch this short video for an overview of Pet Partners equipment standards.

Acceptable Equipment:

The following is the list of acceptable equipment for the Therapy AnimalProgram:

  • All body or step-in harnesses, where the leash clips to a ring on the back of the animal.
  • The following body or step-in harnesses, where the leash clips to a ring at the animal’s chest.
    • Easy-Walk Harness
    • Halti Harness
    • Freedom Harness
    • Sense-ation Harness
    • Sens-ible Harness
  • Buckle, snap or quick-release collars in leather, fabric or other breathable synthetic materials
  • Limited slip collars (such as Martingales), provided they do not include metal links
  • Halters/head collars (such as Gentle Leader)
  • Leashes, no more than 6 feet in length, that are all-leather or all-fabric
  • Metal hardware, such as buckles, slip rings, and D-rings as part of any of the above equipment

Unacceptable Equipment:

The following are examples of equipment that is not considered appropriate for evaluations or visits.

  • Special training collars, such as prong (both metal and plastic), electric or spray collars
  • Metal collars and harnesses, including Martingales that have metal links
  • Full-slip collars of any type
  • Leashes that have any amount of metal chain
  • Retractable leashes
  • Leashes that are longer than 6 feet
  • Hands-free leashes, such as those secured around the handler's waist

The brush you use for your evaluation and therapy team visits does not have to be the same brush that you use to routinely groom your animal. Your visiting brush should have soft bristles and a plastic handle to reduce the chance of unintentional injury to both your animal and the client. Wire bristle brushes and combs with metallic teeth aren't considered acceptable. 

Still have questions?
If you have questions about appropriate equipment, please ask your Team Evaluator or email volunteering@petpartners.org. If your animal needs a special piece of equipment to accomodate a disability, that equipment will need to be pre-approved. You or your evaluator may contact tapat@petpartners.org to request a review of additional equipment.


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