Hello, fellow pet enthusiasts! As we step into International Assistance Dog Week (6-12 August 2023), Pets24 is excited to announce our partnership with the SA Guide-Dog Association. Join us in celebrating the incredible impact of assistance dogs on the lives of individuals with various challenges. Let’s explore the invaluable services provided by these furry heroes and how you can make a difference during this special week.
Guide Dogs: Empowering Independence
Guide Dogs are more than just diligent workers; they become devoted companions, assisting individuals with visual impairments to navigate the world with confidence. At Pets24, we understand the profound bond between a Guide Dog and their owner, and we admire the unwavering loyalty and support they offer. This is why we have joined hands with the SA Guide-Dogs Association. Celebrating 70 years of changing lives, here are some of the incredible services that the SA Guide-Dogs Association offers:
Guide Dogs are a big part of the SA Guide-Dogs Association. Guide Dogs begin their formal training at 12 to 18 months old, with each dog carefully matched to their owner’s lifestyle, needs, and environment. Through positive reinforcement techniques like clicker training and food rewards, the Guide Dogs learn essential skills such as guiding positions, obstacle avoidance, and traffic awareness. With their eyes covered during the final stages of training, the instructors ensure these extraordinary dogs can demonstrate their guiding abilities in any environment.
Service Dogs are another remarkable addition to our assistance dog family, trained to assist individuals with physical disabilities. The instructors from the SA Guide-Dogs Association focus on individual needs, pairing each Service Dog with their owner based on abilities, lifestyle, and environment. These skilled companions are trained to retrieve objects, open doors, switch lights, and perform a range of tasks, providing invaluable support to their human partners.
Autism Support Dogs are specially selected and trained to work with children with autism. These compassionate dogs help children stay focused and safe, offering comfort and security in everyday life. With a soft harness and lead, the child or caregiver becomes the primary owner, ensuring a trusting and supportive bond.
For those who prefer an alternative to a Guide Dog, the Orientation and Mobility Department provides training with long canes. This empowering mobility aid becomes an extension of a person’s sense of touch, allowing them to navigate confidently and independently.
Celebrate International Assistance Dog Week with Pets24 and the SA Guide-Dogs Association:
During this special week, we encourage you to show your appreciation and support for assistance dogs in various ways: Volunteer: Reach out to local assistance dog organizations and inquire about volunteer opportunities. Your assistance in training sessions or administrative tasks can make a difference. Support the Cause: Donate to reputable assistance dog organizations to aid in training and placing these invaluable companions with those in need. Raise Awareness: Share information about International Assistance Dog Week on social media and educate your community about the importance of these remarkable dogs. Attend Events: Look for events or webinars hosted by assistance dog organizations like SA Guide-Dogs Association during the week. These occasions often include demonstrations and heartwarming stories from beneficiaries. Respect Working Dogs: If you encounter an assistance dog with their owner in public, remember to treat them with respect and avoid distracting the dog while they are on duty. If you feel a strong sense of compassion for Assistance Dogs and their life-changing impact, here’s your chance to make a difference! Support the Association’s Litter Legends Programme and directly impact the training of future Assistance Dogs. The beautiful XY-Litter just started on their journey and you can support them by donating towards their training. As we celebrate International Assistance Dog Week, Pets24 proudly stands with the SA Guide-Dogs Association to honour the incredible assistance dogs and their profound impact on the lives of their owners. These devoted companions provide independence, support, and love, proving that together, we can make a positive difference in the world. Join us in empowering independence and celebrating the remarkable bond between assistance dogs and their human partners. Learn more about how pets make a positive impact in our lives in this blog about 5 Amazing Health Benefits of Owning a Pet.