This month we celebrated International Assistance Dog Week (IADW) from 5-11 August.
Created to recognise the devoted, hardworking assistance dogs throughout the world, each year this special week aims to:
- Recognize and honour assistance dogs
- Raise public awareness and education of assistance dogs and their wide roles
- Recognise the breeders and trainers of assistance dogs
- Celebrate some of the heroic deeds performed by assistance dogs in our communities
The abilities of guide dogs to help blind and partially sighted people lead more independent lives has long been recognised, but the list of conditions and disabilities they are adept at helping is growing all the time. For example, medical detection dogs are trained specifically to recognise the signs of and alert their owners to seizures, epileptic fits, strokes and even dangerous changes in blood sugar levels for diabetics. The power of dogs to help with mental health challenges has also been recognised, with organisations such as Veterans with Dogs who specifically help veterans of the British Armed Forces with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health conditions, cope better with their symptoms.
Whatever their ‘job’, assistance dogs transform and empower the lives of their human partners by serving as their companion, helper, aide, best friend and close member of the family. It goes without saying therefore that their importance is critical and their health and wellbeing is paramount, not only so they live a long and healthy life but also so they are able to carry out their role happily and enthusiastically.
Here at Charter we recognise the essential role these dogs play and the importance of keeping them in optimum health. That’s why we offer twice yearly checkups for free to dogs registered with the four main dog assistance charities*: Guide Dogs for the Blind, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Dogs for Good (formerly Dogs for the Disabled) and Support Dogs. As well as our free checks and support services (including nurse consultations) sometimes through drug company support, we are able to offer much reduced medication costs or reclaim the cost of products. Our team will be able to advise you so please do get in touch with us to discuss.
If you have or know of someone with an assistance dog, please get in touch as we would be delighted to help.
*More assistance dogs may be covered, please contact us to confirm.