Service Dogs Change Lives of Veterans

By Joe Toscano

This September, in honor of National Service Dog Awareness Month, Purina Dog Chow will be launching its fourth annual “Service Dog Salute” campaign to highlight the life-changing benefits that service dogs can provide to veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Over three million military veterans suffer from PTSD, and service dogs are proven to reduce the severity of PTSD symptoms and suicidal behaviors. Unfortunately, due to the cost and time it takes to train a service dog, less than one percent of those in need can obtain one. Dog Chow is on a mission to help change that. The Service Dog Salute campaign supports the care and training of more service dogs for America’s military veterans to ensure that every hero in need can find a canine hero of their own.

Dog Chow is continuing to help fund organizations who train service dogs for veterans with PTSD, donating $850,000 since the program began in 2018. This year, Dog Chow’s donations will support Got Your Six Support Dogs in Illinois and Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation in California.

PTSD service dogs are not he same as emotional support, therapy or companion dogs. Like service dogs for the blind, deaf and physically disabled, PTSD service dogs for veterans must be specifically trained to help their handler perform tasks they cannot otherwise perform on their own. The training process can take from one to two-and-a-half years to learn to perform tasks such as:

  • Placing body weight on the veteran to promote a sense of calm during panic attacks
  • Waking the veteran from upsetting dreams or night terrors
  • Reminding the veteran to take medications
  • Alerting the veteran when someone is approaching from behind
  • Patrolling the perimeter of a room for triggers and threats

Purina Dog Chow and Purina associates are working to bring more awareness and support to veteran service dogs. Here are three ways you can help us:

  • To better understand the life-changing work these service dogs do, watch Dog Chow’s documentary, premiering Sept 1 at DogChow.com/Service, which follows three veterans on their unique journeys of healing and hope alongside a PTSD service dog.
  • Visit DogChow.com/Service now to receive updates, gets the facts on PTSD service dogs and find helpful resources.
  • Retailers can make an impact beginning in September by carrying special Service Dog Salute merchandising shipper units and in-store signage designed to drive attention and awareness for the documentary and information on the benefits of PTSD service dogs. Contact your Purina sales rep to learn more.

Brought to you by our Sponsor: Purina


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