A service dog, also known as an assistance dog, is a uniquely trained dog that helps people with specific needs or groups of disabled people in their daily life. And the good news is that it is fair in the eyes of the law in the United States. Though a working dog, a service dog is very different from other dogs like rescue dogs, police dogs, and many others. These dogs are specially trained to accompany people with a disability. This training is given to the dogs by their handler, an assistance dog organization, or a professional trainer.
A service dog can provide two types of benefits — physical and emotional. Read ahead to know more.
Help For People With Wheelchairs
Some people can move only a limited amount by themselves. Such people with restricted movement can benefit from the help of a service dog. These dogs help those disabled people with physical support. They are given special mobility assistance training and can open doors or handle light switches or pick items from the floor or even get them back from other places.
These dogs can also provide great help while switching their positions from the wheelchair, such as bed or toilet. You will be delighted to hear that these service dogs can empty laundry from a dryer. Incredibly well-trained ones can also deal with cashiers and also press buttons of elevators or handicapped accessible buttons.
Help For Epileptic Patients
Epileptic patients have disturbed nerve cell activity in their brains. They have to face seizures from time to time as a result. Service dogs can alert people who have epilepsy before any attack. It prevents them from getting injured during the episode. They possess the extraordinary talent of sensing an imminent outbreak from beforehand.
They alert their owners with specific signals like pacing, staring, pawing, or placing their nose or head on the individual. The dog lies near to the individual having an attack. If the alert is before the attack, the individual gets some time to prepare and move to a safe place. After completing the seizure, the service dog might even go to ask for some help if required.
Help For Physical Challenged Or Fatigue Issues
Many people have disabilities that forbid them from moving for long periods. They allow limited movement of the individuals and cause fatigue, restlessness, pain, and other difficulties. As mentioned earlier, service dogs help wheelchair users; they can also help individuals maintain their balance to avoid getting hurt by falling.
If the individual is unable to carry items, the service dog can complete this task too. As said above, keeping service dogs is entirely legitimate to perform all the functions mentioned above in grocery stores, sidewalks, and social settings. That is not all. The service dogs are trained even to balance when the individual is unstable or stumbles. They are prepared for different bracing activities to act and navigate properly to prevent falls and stabilize the individual.
Keeping these dogs increases your confidence levels along with happiness. And increased confidence grows the socialization of physically challenged people. A service dog supports you to be more confident and helps you to take part in your social life actively. And you are happier and more confident when you have your service dog as your companion. It gives you great pleasure to participate in events you had previously thought to be tiring.
Your service dog is always on duty, and all cannot interact with your dog. But in public gatherings, you can initiate positive public interactions. Physically challenged people also tend to have strained relationships with their relatives. It also relieves family members as they remain less worried due to the service dog’s presence.
Family life flourishes with the help of a service dog. The primary caretaker can also take some rest when the service dog is on duty. Thus, a service dog can release the primary caretaker from some demanding tasks and allow the individual to move in public places independently, with their service dogs’ help. No doubt, service dogs prove to be great companions.
Caring For A Service Dog
Just like any other pet, you have to care for your service dog too. The dog will need all the fundamental requirements like food, shelter, exercise, and regular cleaning and grooming. Frequent veterinary check-ups are also necessary for their health. Your service dog needs to stay at the best of its health to take your care.
Moreover, your loved ones rely on it the most for your safety when they are unavailable. Along with these, proper handling and order are also necessary to keep the dog well-trained and obedient. But no one can ignore a service dog when it’s the reason for someone’s happiness and comfort during challenging times.
The Bottom Line
In a nutshell, service dogs provide security and support to individuals with disabilities like chronic conditions or mobility disablement. Service dogs can allow you to continue your routine and practices without hindering you by becoming your partner. It can help you during your travel, transportation of items and keep you in good condition.
Moreover, getting a service dog is not so easy. There has to be a great fit between you and the dog, and most importantly, it should be well-trained specifically for your disability. You have to be ready to invest a reasonable amount of time and money for your training and upbringing to get a dependable and dutiful mate.