Service Dogs

Service Dogs are wonderful. They can not only be awesome compagnions but also can help people do all sorts of daily tasks! For disabled people a service dog can provide vital help and also independence.

What is a service dog?
Service dogs can help a variety of disabilities such as autism and diabetes as well as those who have hearing and visual impairments after going through intense dog training. If you were thinking about applying for a service dog you are in the right place as we are looking at everything you need to know before applying for a service dog!
Benefits of a service dog
Depending on the reason you are applying for a service dog there can be many benefits. One of the main benefits is that all service dogs have to be trained for 2 years to meet the requirements to be a service dog! That means that these dogs are highly trained to cater to your needs and to work to the best of their abilities. There are also many traits that a service dog needs to have to be considered a service dog in the UK. Those are: that are trained to lie down and sit with their owner in public places, go to the toilet on command to not foul public places, and they also won’t wander around freely. Service dogs are also like any other dogs are great companions and show as much devotion and loyalty as any other family dog. Being disabled may feel isolating at times especially in a world not built for your needs but a dog can make you feel less alone. It has been proven that dogs have the power to boost your mood and have other health benefits such as increased exercise and lower stress which can be great for those who live alone.
Types of service dog
There are so many different types of service dogs that can help all sorts of different disabilities both physically and mentally. Every type has a different job and does great work for their owners and is trained to alert their owners of different things. Here is a list of all the different types and how they help!
Guide dogs
Guide Dogs help those who are visually and hearing impaired to get around and do their day to day tasks. They have been used for centuries as working service dogs and what most people think of when service dogs are mentioned. They are normally either Labradors or Golden Retrievers as these dog breeds are smart, lovable, highly trainable and are non threatening to others and to other dogs. Both of these breeds also possess soft mouths which are great for picking up delicate items. These dogs are trained so well that they can disobey commands if they think it may put their owner at risk.
Medical alert dog
Dogs are able to alert owners of certain conditions such as epilepsy and diabetes so they can either apply medication or get to a safe place to experience symptoms. For diabetics dogs are able to smell the change in glucose level and alert if they are too high or too low. Some dogs can alert other people of the household and set off alarms so that they can act as quickly as possible. For epilepsy a service dog is trained to find help if their person is having a seizure. They can also drag them into safety if they are a big dog and the person is in a dangerous place like a road. Dogs can also detect through their owners body language when they might have a seizure. Those are some clever dogs!
Autism and PTSD support dogs
Dogs can also help mental disabilities like autism and ptsd by giving much needed support in their everyday lives. These are different to emotional support dogs as these are trained to help with these disorders while emotional support animals are not professionally trained. PTSD support dogs can alert when the owner is experiencing a flashback to bring them back to earth and help them through the trauma in a healthy way. For both autism and PTSD these dogs provide emotional support making them feel safer and reduce stress. Autism service dogs can help autistic people connect better with others and can alert family members in dangerous situations. These help both kids and adults manage their condition and can also help other disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Mobility aids
For those who are wheelchair bound or have other mobility problems dogs provide invaluable services as an aid. They support people in day to day tasks from opening and closing doors to unloading the laundry. They can even press buttons and switches for their owner. These support dogs can be Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Samoyeds and Rough Collies as larger dogs are best for these tasks as they can provide support weight and balance when needed. They can also prevent falls and help their owners regain control by offering support.
Service dogs provide much needed support to those who need it. Offering everything from comfort to vital tasks that allow independence and regulation which can help save lives. If you are thinking of getting a service dog make sure they are trained properly and are from trusted charities. In the UK there are many places that both train and provide service dogs to those who need them so be sure to do your research.

“If you don’t understand how something works, you can’t improve upon it. ” — Ivan Balabanov

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