Chosen PawGet in touch: 0191 377 0066

Chosen Paw Health Walks

If you are interested in enrolling on one of our Health Walks, please contact us on 0191 3770066 for further details

Chosen Paw is a not for profit social enterprise. It is a community interest company, designed to benefit the whole community, enabling the community to “help itself.” There exists a symbiotic relationship between Stray Aid and Chosen Paw, but the two entities are separate from each other.

The pilot project of Chosen Paw, “Community Health Walks”, developed by the founders of Stray Aid, is specifically designed to help people become fitter and lead more active lives. It uses the stray dogs of Stray Aid, for therapeutic activities, which benefit people who like dogs, but who may not currently own a dog because of lifestyle limitations. Chosen Paw, in common with the 6.1 million dog owners in the UK, knows that there are few things in life that inspire as much joy in people as a wagging tail and a wet nose.

The programme engages with individuals, their families, support agencies, and health care professionals, to identify effective strategies, which address the individual needs of a participator. It also complies with current lifestyle and medical thinking, through blending the proven benefits from walking and positive interaction with dogs, which is the essence of the Chosen Paw Buddies Programme.

The NHS recommends that everyone should take at least half an hour of exercise each day. Walking is a perfect way to get exercise. It is clinically proven that regular participation in exercise, such as walking, helps to control a wide variety of ailments and health conditions. For example, medical research has conclusively proved that across many different disciplines of health care, patients recover more quickly from surgery and strokes and benefit from the unconditional companionship of a dog. A Chosen Paw “Buddy” can help reduce depression and loneliness and combat the anxiety associated with illness or bereavement.

The Chosen Paw Buddy works alongside prescribed treatments, especially where exercise is required to reduce blood pressure or help with weight loss. Stray Aid is proud to provide rescue dogs for Chosen Paw to use in this programme. Each of the participating dogs is carefully evaluated to ensure the best temperament for the task. There is no size or age restriction for the dog selected, but there is a stringent mechanism to carefully match the dog, handler and client, to ensure the best possible outcome.

At an experimental event, attended by service providers, users, carers, commissioners and care coordinators, the project was greeted with enthusiasm, and further talks have taken place as to how the programme may be developed.