Caring for your dog 

Caring for our dogs is at the core of how we operate and starts from the day the puppy joins us. In order for this to continue once partnered, you will need to have the motivation and means to meet the care needs of an assistance dog:

  • Giving food and water.

  • Providing regular exercise, a minimum of one hour a day, spread over 2-3 sessions, one of which should be off lead in a safe environment.

  • Grooming.

  • Medical care.


You must not leave your dog at home alone for longer than four hours. Leaving the dog for lengthy periods should not happen on a daily basis.

There may be times when, for example, you are going for a hospital appointment or an event such as a firework display or air show where it would not be appropriate to take a dog. In these situations, you must be able to provide alternative care for your dog if it is likely to be longer than 4 hours.

Home environment

  • If you live in rented accommodation, you must provide written evidence from your landlord/housing association that you are permitted to keep an assistance dog on the premises.
  • Your home environment must be suitable for keeping an assistance dog and a home check is part of the application process.
  • You must have access to a secure outdoor area at ground level that can be used as an exercise and toilet area for the dog.
  •  Anyone who lives with you must be willing to support your relationship with an assistance dog and comply with Hounds for Heroes guidelines.
  • You must be able to access a local vet.


If you are partnered with a Hounds for Heroes dog, you must be prepared to engage with our aftercare programme.

Bringing an assistance dog into your life is a major lifestyle change so you must genuinely enjoy the close companionship of a dog and the desire to form a working relationship with one.