The most common example of a service dog most of us can think of is a seeing-eye dog. But there are dozens of different kinds of service animals, helping with physical and mental disabilities. Service Dogs can do a lot to help people with chronic conditions, including identifying dangers and providing emotional support.
For many, the mobility assistance dog is a service dog that is needed to assist with daily functions. You may see many wounded veterans with a mobility service dog and many of our seniors have those who have service dogs can help them with everyday tasks that would otherwise be challenging or impossible to complete. A mobility service dog may be required to help in retrieving objects, balance support, opening and closing doors, and more. The dogs that aid with balance support may wear a special harness for their owner to hold on to.
Many service dogs assist with Wheelchairs for those that have limited ability to function the chair. The handler’s service dog may be able to help with picking up dropped items, open doors, fetch things, and complete any other tasks that the handler can’t regularly perform in daily life.
Seizure alert dogs are specialized to help individuals that suffer from seizures. These specialized dogs are trained to alert if the handler is suffering from a seizure. In most cases, these dogs are trained to sound an alarm or alert someone close by of the seizure taking place. Another function may be to lie on the handler to prevent them from injury during the seizure.
For those individuals that have severe allergies, there are allergy service dogs that are trained to detect these life-threatening allergens. For those with severe allergies, a service dog can detect the life-threatening allergen by smell. They can alert you when they discover a food that could trigger your anaphylaxis. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and can detect even the smallest traces of a substance.
A medical alert dog can be trained to assist for many medical conditions. Some of the more difficult training for service dogs is in the detection of a change in blood sugar, hormone levels, or some other measurable symptom that could have a dangerous effect. Some of these dogs are even taught to dial 911 in an emergency.
For those that are hearing impaired a service dog is trained to assist their handler. These service dogs are trained to alert their owner to important sounds such as doorbells, telephones, medical emergency, fire alarms etc. Once they hear the noise, a hearing support dog will make physical contact with their owner and guide them to the source of the sound.
There are many other functions service dogs provide, this is just a brief overview of some of the more common examples.
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