Service dogs and therapy dogs have become quite popular in the last few decades. They have proven to assist humans in their treatment, recovery, and well-being. Dogs are trainable pets that can make it easy for humans to detect a health problem. Did you know? Dogs can also smell cancer.
Attributes of Service Dogs:
Service dogs are trainable in the following areas:
- Emotional Assistance—Dogs can be trained to cope up with emotional outbursts. They may prevent overcrowding of the owner. They can identify panic attacks and help the owner to calm down.
- Treatment—Service dogs can alert the sedated owners about doorbells, phone calls, and smoke detectors. They help them maintain balance and prevent falling. They can remind their owners of the medication time and walk routine.
- Medical Crisis and Help—Trained dogs can call the emergency, open the doors, bark for help, and fetch the medicines and drinks to take them with during emergency situations. They can dial 911 for an emergency on the phone or use k9 emergency speaker-phones.
- Safe Driving—Dogs can detect if the driver is losing the capacity to judge the traffic on the road. They can alert the driver to slow down or stop the car.
- Security—Security dogs are trained to detect thieves or intruders. They are quick in turning on the lights and opening the doors to call for assistance during an emergency.
Service Dogs and Human Companions:
Besides the 5 different functions a service dog may perform for you after getting proper training, they can help you with mental and physical health issues. Here are 5 ways service dogs can help you:
- Help with Cancer:
Cancer is no less than a deadly epidemic disease. Everyone is getting hit by it one way or the other. Therapy and service dogs are being employed to provide assistance and companionship to cancer patients. They help their owners to bear the pressure of diagnosis and treatment.
Cancer patients need a lot of emotional support throughout their treatment period. The patients often stop caring for themselves due to depression or isolation. Dogs can provide them with a reason to continue their normal living routine.
Moreover, cuddling dogs and talking to them makes ailing patients feel better. The unconditional love of a pet assists them to live a fuller life every passing moment.
Healthy mind and body can prolong the lifespan of a cancer patient too.
- Help with PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder):
Service dogs were first trained after World War I in the US to aid survivors and veterans of the war. Service dogs were trained to assist war veterans who were diagnosed with ‘shell shock’. They aided them to live a fulfilling life again.
This introduction of service dogs in the medical field set the foundation for dogs to help humans with PTSD. They can detect panic attacks, help the owner calm down, and engage them in playful activities. They can help them revert back to a normal routine after trauma.
- Help with Bipolar Disorder:
Bipolar disorder is about having periods of depression and elevation. People usually begin avoiding the patients of Bipolar Disorders. They often feel embarrassed due to their extremely elevated moods and get negative vibes during their depressed phases.
But, dogs are different. If you provide proper love and care to the dog normally, they will silently bear your mood swings and wait for you to hug them again. They get used to the mood swings.
Service dogs can benefit people with psychiatric disorders. They only require some training to aid the patient’s health, social interactions, and psychological well-being.
- Help Live Happier and Content Life:
Service dogs and our untrained pet dogs, both, can help us live a fuller and content life. When we see the happiness of our pooch for little things (even a treat), we forget the great worries of our life. With a more disciplined and organized life, we can better sort out the tensions in our head to work on them one by one.
Walk and exercise can lift your mood and impact your physical health positively. Dogs can motivate you to go out with them. Summers bring fleas, so don’t forget to take flea preventing measures before leaving.
If you are a diabetic patient, your service dog can detect a drop in your sugar level. He can alert a family member or neighbor immediately.
- Help with Anxiety and Depression:
Stress, anxiety, and depression are common mental health problems that every other person faces from time to time. People with anxiety disorders and depression may take the help of service dogs. The trained dogs can detect any panic attacks and calm them down immediately. Dogs will scare away the crowds who create an unwanted situation for patients.
Moreover, we all need a silent companion to share our problems during times of need. Service dogs can listen to your woes and worries for hours without a word of criticism. Snuggling them in your arms and getting a loving lick is the most amazing feeling in the world. It has the power to lift your mood immediately.
Written By: Fiona Appleton
Fiona Appleton is a Labrador owner. She is the manager of https://ultimatehomelife.com/ that has been developed to help people solve the troubles of pet ownership. She is an active advocate of animal protection campaigns. She wants people to understand that dog-behavior is reflective of our behavior.