9 Assistance Dogs That Prove Just How Awesome Pooches Really Are

Posted by GreaterGoodness

Service dogs provide valuable assistance to many people with disabilities, but they’re often misunderstood by the general public. These amazing animals are capable of doing far more than most people realize, and they can help with a wide range of disabilities and medical conditions. Here are nine types of helpful canines that you might not know about.

Psychiatric Service Dogs

Psychiatric service dogs help people with a wide range of mental health issues. One of the most well-known roles is helping veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, but they can also assist with depression, schizophrenia, and traumatic brain injuries, among others. Psychiatric service dogs help their owners by calming them and finding safe places during bouts of hallucinations or flashbacks.

Seizure Alert Dogs

People with epilepsy or other seizure disorders often have little warning before an episode occurs, which can result in injury and other dangers. Dogs are capable of sensing seizures up to about 30 minutes before they occur, so they can alert their owners to a looming seizure. Dogs can also be trained to make the area safer by pulling objects away from the person, and they can alert people in the vicinity to help.

Diabetic Alert Dogs

Dogs can detect subtle chemical changes in the human body, and diabetic alert dogs are trained to respond to blood sugar changes. This allows them to warn their owners, who can then take necessary steps to control their blood sugar and prevent severe complications. Amazingly enough, dogs are capable of sensing blood sugar changes up to 30 minutes earlier than a glucose meter.

Guide Dogs

Guide dogs are the most recognizable form of service dog. They help people with visual disabilities navigate the world safely, helping them avoid hazards while walking. They can also help their owners locate doorways and objects more quickly.

Mobility Assistance Dogs

People who use wheelchairs or have other disabilities that limit their mobility may use a dog to help them get around. A mobility assistance dog is often trained to help support his owner if he starts to fall, and the dog can go find help if the person can’t get up. They also help their owners retrieve out-of-reach objects and may even be trained to pull a wheelchair for short distances.

Medical Alert Dogs

Medical alert dogs detect and assist with a variety of other conditions. They may alert caregivers if a patient with Alzheimer’s or dementia is in trouble, or they can help people with asthma handle an attack. Some can even detect and pinpoint cancer in the human body, according to Service Dog Express.

Hearing Alert Dogs

Hearing alert dogs help their hearing-impaired owners stay safe. They are trained to alert their owners to fire alarms, oncoming traffic and other hazards that may only be noticeable by the sounds they make.

Emotional Support Animals

Emotional support animals are similar to psychiatric service dogs, but they are not trained to do a specific task. Instead, their very presence is calming and helpful to their owners. They don’t have the same access rights as service dogs, but they are typically allowed to live in no-pet housing and travel in airplane cabins.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs are different than most other service dogs because their owners typically are not the ones in need of assistance. Instead, therapy dogs are trained to provide comfort to strangers. They are often used in institutions, such as nursing homes, hospitals, and schools. These dogs also provide comfort during times of tragedy, such as after natural disasters or sudden violence.

Dogs have been man’s best friend for thousands of years, and they are proving that more than ever as they help people with physical or mental disabilities. Learn more about the amazing things dogs can do by checking out this touching story of a dog and a soldier who saved each others’ lives.

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