Did you know over a quarter of the population in the UK own dogs? Despite this, there are a lot of misunderstandings about how to meet their needs. At MAD for Dogs, we work hard to increase the understanding of these animals. Having a dog can transform our lives, and we can repay them by learning ways to make their lives and ours the best they can be together.
Whether you are living with PTSD, anxiety, depression or any other mental illness, we know the vital role your pet dogs play in your day to day life. We record podcasts and write blog posts about living with and enriching the lives of the dogs who support you (and us) in a friendly and accessible way. We don’t believe in complicating things unnecessarily, and everything we do comes from a place of compassion and empathy.
MAD for Dogs Team
OUR PILOT PROJECT @ The Weymouth Veterans Hub Jan’ ’21-Feb’ ’22
We ran sessions at the hub for the Weymouth Veterans and their dogs within the Sgt Levene Room and garden. It was a place for quiet contemplation.
At MAD for Dogs, we increased people’s understanding of dogs, by holding Relax, Reboot and Recharge sessions at The Veterans Hub, Weymouth, making a difference for every dog.
Relax, Reboot & Recharge Canine Sessions
Our focus at Making A Difference for Dogs is to encourage you to give your dog the best gifts; Time, Choice and Freedom to be themselves to Relax, Reboot and Recharge.
These were 30-minute sessions where dogs were given a chance to just be dogs whilst we coached the humans on sitting back, observing, and gathering information and support. It was an opportunity for them to relax and be themselves and for us to grab a brew and take time out to watch and see what they liked to do. These sessions are the dog equivalent of children’s Sensory Play. As your dog moves over different surfaces and textures, it encourages exploration, curiosity, problem-solving, and creativity. It helps build nerve connections in the brain and promotes the development of posture and motor skills. Noticing differences in how they handle themselves sheds light on behaviour patterns. This can enable us to make small adjustments to their daily care that will vastly improve their well being.
By creating this therapeutic, safe space, we helped reduce stress by offering a calming place for veterans to escape, enabling them to relax, reboot and recharge with their dog. Spending time with the dog as our focus, you might be surprised by what you discover about them.
The more you practice observing your dog, and the more relaxed they become, the more you will see.
The services were run twice weekly. If you would like to read some of the feedback we received check out the testimonials below.
WE CHAMPION DOGS
For veterans with PTSD, it is often suggested that they get a dog to help them get out and about, get into a routine, and encourage them to exercise. Very few veterans meet the criteria to receive a service dog. Instead, they seek a pet dog or a puppy to fulfil the role. M.A.D for Dogs CIC exists to ensure the dogs’ well-being is highlighted. Having spoken to many veterans and their families, their pet dogs become their lifelines. Until now, the dog’s needs have gone unnoticed or unrecognised. Often, they age prematurely, having taken on the stresses and strains of their owners. They can become obese and have health issues more frequently seen in older dogs.
We increase understanding of the uniqueness of all dogs and are passionate about supporting their mental and physical needs.
We are exploring different revenue streams to make sure we can continue to provide services to everyone who wants to learn more about their dogs and create a positive change in their lives. What makes us unique is that any profits are ploughed back into our community projects and the veteran hubs, making a difference for them and their dogs too.
We have first-hand experience living with a dog who supports you through anxiety, depression and PTSD. We understand how all-consuming isolation can be and how vital our dogs are to our recovery. We’ve vowed to do our best to make a difference for all dogs, and specifically those dogs who give people something to live for every day.
The mental health of your dog is just as important as their physical health and we are working hard to get this message out there.
Our organisation works alongside Veterans and their community to raise awareness, provide tools and knowledge to help those pet dogs who support ex-service people live longer and happier lives. We work closely with Veteran Hubs, their service users, local communities and companies to help them understand dogs more, what they can do to make a difference and how they can support those who rely on their dogs as a lifeline.
the ! Donate and help us to
Make A Difference.
Your donation helps us raise awareness, provide tools and knowledge to help those dogs who support ex-service people with PTSD live longer and happier lives. For dogs that find themselves living with a Veteran with PTSD, they become that person’s lifeline giving them a reason to get out and about, create new habits and develop new routines. M.A.D for Dogs exists to Make A Difference to the mental and physical well being of dogs by creating positive change in the way they are understood.