Service dogs play a critical – yet oft-overlooked – role in the daily lives of many people. Service dogs can change the quality of life for many of those with disabilities and those with chronic conditions.
It’s essential to know how service dogs can help improve life, if for no other reason than to appreciate and respect these animals and their important work truly. Listed below are some of the benefits of service dogs – though it is by no means a complete list.
Service dogs are trained to provide physical aid to their owners. For example, they can reach wheelchair users’ items and provide basic tasks for those that can’t, fetch objects, press buttons, etc.
Some service dogs have been trained to be on alert for people experiencing a medical crisis. Specific episodes can be alerted in advance, allowing the person to either get to a safe place or request help. Otherwise, service dogs can provide a safe space, get help, or stand watch as needed.
Service dogs provide a critical service for those that deal with fatigue, physical challenges, pain conditions, or just have trouble walking. These dogs are specially trained to help a person who is struggling with their balance. They can brace a person about to fall or help soften their landings. Furthermore, they can provide help by fetching items (reducing the risk of getting up needlessly).
Thanks to service dogs, many people have gained a level of independence that they would otherwise not have been able to reach. They no longer have to rely on those around them and can always trust their service animal to provide whatever aid is needed.
Having a service dog comes with the added benefit of always having a companion around. Yes, that companion is working, but they are incredibly loyal and willing to help out however possible.
As such, service dogs can help reduce certain adverse emotional states, such as anxiety, depression, and loneliness. All while boosting positive ones, including self-confidence and happiness.
It’s important here to note the significant differences between a service dog and a therapy animal. While both have their benefits, ultimately, they do provide vastly different tasks. Be sure to properly research both before deciding which one is right for you.