Purina has launched a new campaign to support charity Canine Partners with the assistance of doctor and mental health ambassador Dr Alex George.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of the positive impact that pets can have on mental health and how a canine partner can provide life changing benefits to those in need.
Canine Partners trains and then matches assistance dogs with people with disabilities, providing both incredible physical help, but also mental and emotional support to their human partners. As part of the campaign, Dr Alex George is asking dog owners across the UK to share a selfie with their dog on their dog walk and use it as a moment to think about the bond they have with their pet and how, for people with a disability, a canine partner assistance dog can provide life changing benefits.
For every #ChangingLivesTogether hashtag posted alongside each selfie, Purina will donate £1 to Canine Partners until June 26, with the aim of raising an extra £10,000 for the charity.
Purina research has found that 40% of dog owners describe the morning dog walk as a ‘moment of calm’ before the day starts’, and 32% state that the daily dog walk is how they look after their own mental wellbeing.
Dr George said: “My morning walk with Rolo is one of my favourite parts of the day. He gets me outside in the fresh air and really helps my mental wellbeing. The bond we have developed is so strong and there is nothing quite like the unconditional love between a human and their pet.
“I’m proud to be partnering with Purina to raise awareness of the incredible charity Canine Partners and I can only imagine the positive effect an assistance dog has on their owners. Please get involved and support this amazing cause.”
Calum Macrae, managing director for Purina UK & Ireland added: “At Purina, we know how powerful the pet human bond can be – and for adults with disabilities, the bond they have with their assistance dog can be truly life changing. We’re proud to be launching the Changing Lives Together Fund to continue to support Canine Partners, so more people can enjoy greater independence and quality of life through the partnering of a specially trained dog.
“We are committed to fostering people’s health through the power of the pet human bond, and it’s why we have an ongoing commitment to support Canine Partners and the amazing work they do.”
Canine Partners is a registered charity that assists people with disabilities to enjoy a greater independence and quality of life through the provision of specially trained dogs.
It costs £30,000 to fund a partnership, from selection as a puppy right through to the dog’s retirement at about 12 years old, and there are currently 96 people on the waiting list to be partnered with an assistance dog.