Approximately 3.5 million military veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and while service dogs have been shown to reduce the severity of PTSD symptoms and suicidal behaviors, only one in 100 of those in need who seek a service dog receive one each year. Dog Chow is on a mission to help.
This year marks $1 million in donations from Dog Chow to service dog organizations since the start of the Service Dog Salute program in 2018. These donations help support the care and training of more service dogs for veterans with PTSD. PTSD service dogs are not the 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.
Purina Dog Chow has proudly supported the military since its founding almost 100 years ago, and the strong commitment to service members continues today. In fact, Dog Chow is celebrating five years of its Service Dog Salute campaign, which highlights the life-changing benefits that service dogs provide to veterans experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
As part of this year’s Service Dog Salute program, Dog Chow has launched its first-ever Visible Impact Award in partnership with the Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans. The award celebrates the remarkable impact PTSD service dogs have on veterans’ daily lives and recognizes these outstanding service dogs and the organizations that trained them.
Starting September 1, 2022, dog lovers can join in selecting the first-ever Dog Chow Visible Impact Award winner by voting on the selected finalists at DogChow.com/service. For every vote, Dog Chow will donate $5 to the Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans (up to $75,000 total) to help train more PTSD service dogs at no cost to veterans. Additionally, the winning dog’s veteran will receive a $10,000 cash prize and $25,000 for the organization that trained the service dog.
The Dog Chow Visible Impact Award complements ongoing research that shows most veterans with trained service dogs show lower symptoms of PTSD, reduced depression and increased social participation compared to those who utilize more traditional clinical care for PTSD alone.
Dog Chow and Purina associates are working to bring more awareness and support to veteran service dogs. Soon, retailers will see the mission highlighted on every bag of Dog Chow that arrives in retail stores. Retailers can make an impact by carrying special Service Dog Salute in-store signage designed to drive attention and awareness for the program. Contact a Purina sales rep to learn more.
This post is sponsored by Nestle Purina