Dementia community dogs

Between 2017 – 2020, thanks to a grant from the Big Lottery Fund, we will pilot a small- scale series of ‘Dog Day’ community events and goal-oriented therapy intervention pilots in Scotland and trial areas in England, using trained dogs.

In each trial area, we will:

  • Develop a series of ‘Dog Day’ therapy events at dementia friendly community centres, where we provide gentle interaction with trained handlers and pet dogs for people at all stages of dementia and their carers.

  • Provide animal-assisted intervention therapy visits for individuals living with a early- moderate diagnosis of dementia, to help them work towards and achieve specific goals. This will be delivered by our professional Community Dog Handler and qualified Community Dog.


The therapy approach, known as Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI), is a well-established practice in many parts of the world, but less advanced in the UK. Specialist handlers and trained therapy dogs work alongside health care professionals to help people facing daily challenges, in this case for people living with dementia.