The Benefits of Service Dogs You Need to Hear
I’m a lover of all dogs.
But there’s one type of dog that has my utmost respect and appreciation… service dogs.
September is National Service Dog Month and I couldn’t let the month pass without giving some recognition to these very special pups.
You’ve likely come across the most common service dog – Guide Dogs.
These pups are specially trained to help blind and visually impaired people navigate the world, getting around obstacles and leading them safely from place to place.
For folks that are deaf or hard of hearing, there are Hearing Dogs.
A hearing dog will paw at their owner to alert them of important sounds like smoke alarms, door bells or oven timers.
People with mobility issues rely on Mobility Assistance Dogs to perform various tasks like pulling wheelchairs, turning on lights, and opening and closing doors.
The rise in food allergies has led to a need for Allergy Detection Dogs.
These service dogs are often paired with children with severe allergies and are trained to sniff out allergens like peanuts, milk and wheat.
Diabetic Alert Dogs also use their super sensitive snouts to sniff out potential danger.
They’re trained to detect changes in blood glucose levels and alert their owners to dangerously high or low blood sugar levels.
Folks with epilepsy, or those prone to seizures, rely on Seizure Response Dogs to assist during and after a seizure.
These smart pups are trained to perform important tasks like activating an emergency response alarm, retrieving a phone or medication, fetching someone to help in the event of a seizure, and even physically removing their owner from a dangerous situation.
People with autism benefit from the unique services of Autism Service Dogs.
These service dogs are specially trained to not only provide comfort to their owner, but also able to interrupt harmful behavior, help keep a child from running away, and track their owner if they take off.
Our military members returning from a tour of duty, along with others who have experienced trauma are at particular risk of PTSD.
For those folks, a trained PTSD Dog or Psychiatric Service Dog can help its owner remain calm and deal with difficult emotions.
These pups are able to sense changes in their owner's body when they are about to have a panic attack, flash back, or an anxiety attack.
One group that specializes in PTSD Dogs is Pets for Vets, which matches shelter dogs with vets who need service animal companionship.
Your support of Patriot Health Alliance helps us support Pets for Vets, so more of our country’s Veterans can find the animal that will bring the most healing and comfort. It's a success all around.
Every time I encounter service dogs, I have to fight every urge to go over to pet them.
These special dogs need to be “on the job” when they’re out and about and shouldn’t be distracted by strangers coming up to them.
So, if you encounter one, please remember to admire them from afar.
And if you’re really inspired by a service dog, consider volunteering to be a service dog puppy raiser.
You’ll not only get some quality time with an adorable puppy, but you’ll also play an important role in training one that will make an incredible difference to someone in need.