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Home > Dogs > Assistance Dog Day 2023: When & What It Is

Assistance Dog Day 2024: When & What It Is

service guide dog is helping a blind man in the city

Assistance Dog Day is an important holiday devoted to spreading awareness about how dogs improve the lives of countless people living with mobility-limiting disabilities and illnesses. Assistance Dog Day is held every August 4th to celebrate these incredibly devoted, heroic dogs. Assistance Dog Day is actually part of the International Assistance Dog Week or IADW, which claims the first Sunday in every August for itself.

Assistance Dog Day and Week are invaluable educational resources for people who might not be aware of how crucial assistance and service dogs are for those with disabilities. It’s a day for honoring the patient trainers who help mold these incredible dogs in the first place, too!

If you’re interested in learning a bit more about the holiday and some interesting facts about service dogs, you’re in luck! Just scroll down below for the details you need.

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History of Assistance Dog Day & Week

Assistance Dog Day and Week was started by Marcie Davis in 2009. Ms. Davis is a paraplegic dog lover, CEO of Davis Innovations, and founder of WorkingLikeDogs.com. The holiday expanded and quickly took on a life of its own under the multifaceted umbrella of the International Association of Dog Partners, which is devoted to serving impaired and disabled people by helping pair them with trained service dogs.

Because of the high costs associated with training service animals, it’s necessary for organizations to spread awareness and ask for donations with events and holidays like Assistance Dog Day. Considering that most of those organizations are able to provide service dogs at no cost to disabled applicants, it’s a happy success! Whether it’s a guide dog or a medical alert dog, they all deserve some extra praise on this significant holiday.

Service dog giving assistance to disabled person on wheelchair
Image Credit:24K-Production, Shutterstock

How to Celebrate International Assistance Dog Day & Week

Assistance Dog Day is about assistance dogs, their owners, and the people who trained them too. While it can be hard to decide how to celebrate the holiday, don’t fret too much. We’ve come up with some ways you can celebrate ADD and help educate others about its importance.

Ways to Celebrate Assistance Dog Day & Week:

  • If possible, make a small donation to service dog foundations or training centers.
  • If it’s within your means, look into adopting a retired service animal to honor their service.
  • Tell people about the holiday in person or on social media by posting adorable dog pics of your favorite service dog.
  • Volunteer at a service animal organization, if feasible.

Fun Facts About Service Dogs

Most people have seen service animals before, but most people probably don’t know much about them. The truth is that service dogs have a very long, storied history and there’s a lot more to them than meets the eye! Peruse our quick list of fun facts about service dogs today to learn a bit more about them in the spirit of Assistance Dog Day.

Fun Facts About Service Dogs:

  • There are many types of service dogs: guide dogs for the visually impaired and deaf, diabetes service dogs that can sniff out low blood sugar, seizure alert dogs, medical alert dogs, emotional support dogs, and more.
  • The average service dog costs from $15,000 to $30,000 to train and keep healthy by the time they get paired with a disabled partner.
  • The typical service dog knows roughly 30 simple and complex commands.
  • Service dogs are specially trained to ignore distractions and watch for obstacles.
  • As per the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA, service dogs get special treatment under the law and are allowed virtually anywhere other dogs aren’t allowed with their handler.
girl hugging her pyschiatric service dog
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

What Breeds Make the Best Service Dogs?

There’s no single “best” breed for service dogs, but certain dog breeds tend to share the best traits for a service dog. Depending on the dog’s unique personality, gentleness, loyalty, and intelligence, they might be better suited to life as a guide dog or a medical alert dog. It’s a complex subject that merits its own article, but you can quickly scan some of the top breeds for service dogs below.

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Conclusion

Assistance Dog Day is a key holiday for dog lovers everywhere, plus their owners and the people who trained them. You can celebrate by telling others about it or by dedicating some time or money towards helping service dogs, or you may consider adopting a retired service dog yourself!


Featured Image Credit: SasaStock, Shutterstock

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