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Animal Visitation Chlorhexidine Trial

For Dog Handler Teams

Do you and your dog already participate in an animal assisted visitation program? If so, you might be eligible to enroll in this study! Therapy dog volunteers are needed for a clinical research study evaluating the benefits of using topical chlorhexidine products, for infection control, in preparation and during therapy dog visits with children.

Study Procedure Overview for Dog Handlers Teams

  • Researchers will attend 12 of your dog therapy sessions.
  • After your 4th session, you will be randomized to a treatment group or control group. You will know if you are in the treatment group or the control group, but you do not get to choose which group you go into.
  • The dog handler teams in the treatment group will be asked to bathe their dog with a prescription shampoo product (that will be provided) containing chlorhexidine disinfectant instead of the usual shampoo product prior to visits.
  • Dogs in the treatment group will also be wiped on the back by the researcher with a chlorhexidine disinfectant wipe, either once or multiple times, during the therapy session.
  • All dogs participating in the study, in both treatment and control group, will be swabbed in the nose, mouth, skin, rear end, and back at the beginning and end of every therapy session for the duration of the study (12 sessions total).

Are Chlorhexidine shampoos and wipes safe for dogs?

Yes, Chlorhexidine shampoos and wipes are for external use only and are FDA approved and safe for use in dogs. Although reactions to these medicated products are quite rare, we take your pets health very seriously and will stop the use of these products on your dog if any health problems occur. Many of the researchers on this study are veterinarians, in the event that you notice any problems, such as skin redness or irritation, please contact a veterinarian working on this study to discuss these issues.

If you'd like to enroll or have questions, please email us at: