K9 Veterans Day: About Military Working Dogs & Pet Military Discounts
About Military Working Dogs, Pet Military Discounts, and Help For Your Dog When Going Overseas
March 13th is K9 Veterans Day. Military working dogs play quite a role in today’s military, from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan to training with soldiers in the states.
Here is a little bit about the military working dog, some pet related military discounts, and information about organizations that can take care of your beloved pets during deployments.
Military Working Dog History
On March 13th, 1942, the US Army began training dogs for the new war dog program or, “K9 Corps.” Although, during World War I, over a million dogs did serve in the military, carrying messages and comforting the soldiers. After World War I, the US did get away from the training dogs, but as the US entered World War II, the American Kennel Association and a group called, Dogs for Defense, began a movement to mobilize dog owners to donate animals to the US Army.
Training started in the Army in March of 1942, and by that fall, they were training dogs for the Navy, Marines, and the Coast Guard. Today, there over 2,000 military working dogs (MWDs). Dogs today are used for patrol, drug, and explosive detection, and other specialized missions. In 2011, United States Navy SEALs used a Belgian Malinois working dog named Cairo in the operation where Osama bin Laden was killed.
Most MWDs are either German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Belgian Malinois. These breeds are chosen because they can be very aggressive, smart, loyal, and athletic. In the past, they have also used breeds such as Doberman Pinschers, Collies, Siberian Huskies, Malamutes, and Eskimo Dogs.
The most famous “military dog” would have to be Rin Tin Tin. He was found as a puppy during World War I in France in 1918 by a US soldier. He was taken to the US in 1919, was taught tricks, and became a movie star. His film debut was in 1922, with the silent film, The Man From Hell’s River.
The US Postal Service also recently released Military Working Dog stamps to commemorate these working dogs.
Military Discounts For Your Pet
You can shop at Pet Pros for pet supplies, pet food and more. They offer a 5% military discount on all of their products. You must show your military ID or veteran ID and it can only be used in-store only. If a product discount is higher than the military discount, you would use that one instead.
At Campfire Treats you can find natural dog treats. They offer a 15% off military discount for members of the military and veterans. You must send in an email and the discount can’t be combined with other offers. It can’t be used with subscribe and save.
At Best Bully Sticks you can find dog treats and bully sticks for your favorite pet. They offer a 15% off military discount and free shipping on orders over $49. The discount is good on bestbullysticks.com. To get the discount you need to send an email or call customer service if you are a veteran.
At Embrace Pet Insurance you can buy pet insurance, and they offer a 5% off military discount. This is available to those who are actively serving and former military. The discount is not available in FL, TN, and NY. You will need to show proof of military status.
At this pet insurance company, you can get a 5% off military discount on cat and dog insurance plans. The discount isn’t valid in TN and NY.
At Pet Air Carrier, a company that offers safe pet shipping around the globe, you can find a military discount. For military families on orders, they offer a $125 discount for the first pet and $25 discount for each additional pet. If you already have a lot of the paperwork done, they will offer you a $150 discount, $50 per additional pet.
Pet Smart gives a 10% off military discount on an overnight stay at their PetsHotel. During their stay, your pet will receive 24/7 care and access to an on-call vet, safety-certified hotel hosts, complimentary meals, and full-service amenities.
Operation Military Pets provides financial assistance for pet relocation costs. All branches of the military can qualify for the grants, in the US or anywhere else in the world.
Often times a pet sitter service will offer a military discount. With Rover, pet sitters can choose to offer a military discount. Independent pet sitting companies can offer them too so don’t forget to at least ask.
Dog parks that charge a fee might also offer a military discount. Make sure to check their website before you go.
There are a few other ways so that you can save money when you have a pet. You can check out the veterinarian office on your local installation. Many offer most of the services you might need, however they are not available everywhere. Pet insurance can cut down on your vet bills, and having a pet budget can keep you on track when it comes to other expenses.
Organizations That Help Service Members With Dogs During Deployment
If a service member has a family, they don’t have to worry too much about what will happen to their dog when they have to be away from home. However, for single-service members, or those in other situations, they might need to find a good place for their pet to go while they are deployed overseas. Luckily these organizations can help:
Dogs on Deployment is a non-profit that finds volunteers to board pets while their owners are deployed or away on other service-related commitments. Their mission is to give military members peace of mind when they have to be away from their pets. In addition, they advocate for military pet owner rights on military installations, provide educational resources for military members about responsible pet ownership, grant financial assistance to military members for help with their pet’s care during emergencies, promote healthy pet lifestyles, including spay and neuter, insurance options and vaccinations, and connect with community organizations to ensure Dogs on Deployment resources are available to military families.
This is an all-volunteer military and veteran support organization that assists active duty, wounded warriors, veterans, and their companion animals or assistance service canines through various assistance programs. Their Pet Foster Home Program assists by offering deploying members of the military with foster homes for their pets and offers a Military Pet Assistance (MPA) fund for assisting “homeless veterans” with veterinary care and temporary boarding costs.
PACT, People + Animals = Companions Together, helps hospital patients and military personal by placing their pets into temporary foster homes. Since their first placements in 2012, they have facilitated the placement of over 1,000 companion pets nationwide.
As you can see, dogs are well-loved in the military both when it comes to serving and on the homefront.