Everyone is different and have different needs, both dogs and humans.

A sustainable idea with a long-term thinking about working with the dog as a resource.

Photo of Jessica Svensson
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize and, based on its description, I am eligible to apply:

  • Yes, I’m eligible

Should you be successful, please confirm your availability to attend:

  • Additional Skype interview(s) during the week of March 16-20th 2020
  • The Purina BetterwithPets Forum in Paris, on 3-4th of June 2020

Initiative's representative name

Jessica Svensson

Initiative's representative gender

  • Woman

Headquarters location: country

  • Sweden

Headquarters location: city


Where are you making a difference?

All around Sweden

Website or social media url(s)

www.handhundhalsa.com https://www.instagram.com/hand_hund_halsa https://www.facebook.com/handhundhalsa/

Date Started


Focus Areas

  • Fostering emotional intelligence and behavioural competences
  • Promote inclusivity
  • Enhance physical activity and wellness

What is your current yearly budget for the initiative? If you are an idea stage, what early budget you would need to kick-off and run operations in your first year?

  • €50k - €100k

Organisation Type

  • for profit: an organisations whose main goal is to make income through business gains
  • educational institution: an organisation dedicated to teaching and learning, including primary, secondary, tertiary institutions, and vocational schools

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

I worked in elderly care and met patients who had death anxiety or who lost the desire to live. When the words were not enough as comfort, the dog could, through its presence, divert and turn the destructive thoughts to feel closeness and lust for life again.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

In our society, most people know that pets have a good impact on our well being. Many businesses that work with people have access to dogs but need support in how and what the dog can contribute with. Sometimes the attitude may be that it does not work to have a dog in the workplace, mostly because of ignorance on how to adapt and ensure the working environment to suit everyone.

3. Your solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

My vision is to start a mobile competence center for working with dogs as a resource. The aim is to create sustainable work with the dog as a tool where the interaction between man and dog is strengthened and has a focus on motivation, relationship and communication. The competence center must be mobile and must work from a sustainable and a holistic perspective and be based directly on the workplace and its needs. In order to get a long-term job with the dog as a resource in their activities, there are several aspects to consider. Therefore, I see a need for the entire workplace to gain a greater understanding and a better understanding of what working with a dog means as a resource. And that the business receives support in securing and adapting the workplace for better quality when using a dog as a resource. I want to open up opportunities for workplaces in health promotion, rehabilitation/habilitation, psychiatry and social work to use the dog as a resource. I want to contribute with an increased understanding of how the dog can be a complementary tool in their efforts and thereby increase the quality and be able to offer more ways to increase well-being through the dog.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

I have a huge drive behind what I love. With the right support and tools, I could fullfill my dream and build my dream company, which will then contribute to sustainable and long-term improvement work with the dog as a resource in society. We (me and my dogs) have a wide experience in working with different groups of people. For example: - People with neuropsychiatric disabilities(autism, adhd, tourettes syndrome) and people with acquired brain injury - Children with special needs - Psychiatry / Mental Illness - Care for people with alcohol, drug and gambling addiction - Housing aimed at homeless people with different kinds of addiction - Elderly care or dementia - Motivational work, connection and cooperation in social work

5. How does your project harness the pet-human bond to help people develop important social competencies (For example: emotional intelligence, collaboration, empathy, resilience, inclusivity) and overcome serious societal issues (for example: violence, abuse, trauma, isolation, abandonment)?

With the dog as a resource in working with people who for various reasons need help or support, I use the dog to motivate, create relationships and increase communication. The dog can be used as a distraction for destructive thoughts, relief for anxiety, as tool for breaking isolation and being part of a context. The dog is an excellent tool for strengthening the individual's own abilities such as trust, self-esteem, self-confidence and physical activity for people who for some reason have difficulty moving (physically or due to lack of motivation)

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

Me and my dogs have on several occasions been brought to the media for our work. In 2017, one of my dogs was selected as the hero of the year for his fine efforts in the elderly care sector. Based on this, the rumor has spread and the work has evolved from a hobby to my way of making a living.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

My dream is to join a mastermind group and get my own brand/business coaching in order to develop to the maximum. I want to be able to carry out sustainable entrepreneurship in the long term and in the best way to achieve my goals and visions. For a successful entrepreneurship, I have to educate myself, develop my knowledge and my entrepreneurship. I will need to incorporate more professions to assure the quality of the Dog competence center. I need different types of dogs and a room where I can work with educational material, dog care with available dog shower, a surface for training my dogs.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for different stakeholders?

I want to spread the dog's ability to carry out supplementary efforts in society to the care, treatment, pedagogy etc that exists today. I want to shed light on the dog's positive effects on our sense of purpose and what social benefits the dog can bring. Using the dog as a resource in a sustainable and innovative way can contribute to a better quality of life, reduced medication and a healthier life for many individuals. It will also be an economic one (because of reduced costs for drugs and faster rehabilitation) which will thus be a health benefit for society to work with the dog as a resource.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

I currently have a number of partners and clients, but lack the means to develop a complete Dog competence center, but I sure have the ability and the contacts. I can imagine being sponsored and spreading a brand name during my assignments in society if the brand is something I can stand behind. I need to attach great importance to the content of the education and the quality as well as the marketing as I work on sustainability and long-term planning. I also want to develop as an entrepreneur and my own development to achieve my goals and visions.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

My dream team is a colleague who complements my skills and wants to push my unique idea with me. To build and strengthen the Dog Competence Center brand, we need clarify the content. I also need to bring my brand and marketing expert to reach my goals effectively.

11. How do you plan to influence your field of work if you are a winner of this edition of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize?

I will take on the mission and devote myself fully as this is my dream and what I am passionate about. I will do everything possible to succeed in my dream and to run the company profitably, sustainably and with my heart at the right place. I will be able to influence many individuals' feelings about the dog as a resource and support society by using the dog as a complementary effort in different parts of our society.

12. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Purina page or contact
  • Email

Evaluation results

2 evaluations so far

1. OVERALL Evaluation

Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 0%

Maybe - 50%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

2. Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

Yes, absolutely! - 0%

Yes/maybe - 100%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

3. Does this entry have SOCIAL IMPACT?

Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 50%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

4. Does this entry have potential to GROW & demonstrate LEADERSHIP?

Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 0%

Maybe - 50%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

5. Is this entry VIABLE?

Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 0%

Maybe - 50%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%


Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 0%

Maybe - 50%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

7. FEEDBACK – Highlights

INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions or used an old model in a new way - 0%

IMPACT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 0%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: You have a thoughtful plan for growth and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 0%

VIABIBLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 50%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You value thinking around how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 100%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: You have a clearly defined plan on how to maximize shared value across multiple sectors and stakeholders - 0%

WRITING STYLE: Your writing style is concise, descriptive, clear, and specific - 0%

Other option - 0%

8. FEEDBACK - Areas for Improvement

INNOVATION: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 0%

IMPACT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 0%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 100%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 0%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: Your plan can benefit from more thought on how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 0%

WRITING STYLE: Try to be more concise, descriptive, clear, and specific. Avoid jargon - 0%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 100%

Other option - 0%


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