Dogs at home and Dogs in the community
Can I Apply?
Entry criteria for Assistance Dog:
- You have a diagnosis of early stage dementia
- You live at home with a full time carer who does not have a diagnosis
- Your home has a fully fenced garden
- You live in Scotland
Entry criteria for Community Dog visits:
- You have a diagnosis of early-moderate stage dementia
- You receive support from a healthcare professional
- You live at home or in assisted living accommodation (you may live alone or with others)
- You live in Scotland or the following pilot areas in England: Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire
Dog Day events:
These events are open to people with dementia at any stage, and family, carers or friends.
The simple criteria is that you like dogs!
Please click below to see if there's a Dog Day event near you
Dogs at home
Dementia Assistance Dogs
Highly trained dogs with full public access rights, providing full time support for families living with dementia.
Dementia Assistance Dogs are placed full time at home, where one person is living with an early stage diagnosis of dementia.
Following a successful match to an applicant family, we then tailor the dog's skills to their specific needs, providing highly tailored support to help support their daily routine of waking, eating, taking medication, exercise, socialisation and sleeping patterns.
Daily routines can be a secure anchor for families as the condition progresses; the dog acting as a household reminder can really help take some weight and worry off partners and carers. We have also seen how the dog can help families start each day with a smile, and help them cope and feel more resilient to the daily challenges associated with living with dementia.
You will recognise one of our Assistance Dogs by their green working jackets which clearly display the Dogs for Good and ADUK logo. Assistance dogs have full public access rights, enabling them to support and accompany their owners wherever they go. This includes public transport, doctors, hospital appointments, cafes, restaurants and shops.
To apply for a Dementia Assistance Dog please check you meet the criteria listed on the below Enquiry Form.
Dogs in the Community
Community Dog Visits
This pioneering programme uses the techniques of Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI), where a dedicated Community Dog and Handler will work alongside a healthcare professional to help people with dementia overcome challenges to achieve a personal goal. This approach is most beneficial for people with dementia who may be feeling socially isolated, lacking confidence or independence in their daily routine either at home or out and about in the community.
The Community Dog Team will work with you and your healthcare professional to identify a goal, and help you achieve this through a series of 6-8 weekly visits.
Goals could focus on:
- increasing confidence to try new activities or join new groups in your community
- the dog helping you make new friends, or reconnecting with old ones
- increasing independence to overcome new challenges such as taking a bus trip
- helping structure daily routine including aspects of self care
- the dog acting as a motivator to help with physical exercise such as physio or walking.
We always undertake our visits with a health care professional or carer present to ensure someone can take care of the individual we are supporting, while the Handler takes responsibility for the dog.
We are currently piloting this service in central Scotland and three pilot areas in England (Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire). Only enquiries within these geographical locations can be considered at this time. For further details on our entry criteria and to fill out an Enquiry Form please click on the below button.
Dog Day Events
For anyone at any stage of dementia able to come along, Dog Days are fun, social group events and an opportunity for gentle interaction with trained pet dogs in a dementia friendly environment.
The focus is on fun, making friends and having a good chat! Trained volunteers will be at hand with their pooches to help everyone enjoy the special company and comfort that only a dog can bring.
Families and carers are welcome at these events, where local staff are happy to provide any support or advice you may need associated with living with dementia.
As this Dog Day programme develops, dates and locations will be posted on our calendar of events.