Thursday, July 28, 2011

Service Dogs: Helping Those With Disabilities

Service dogs are specifically trained in order to help assist those living with disabilities. They can be trained to “work with people who use power or manual wheelchairs, have balance issues, have various types of autism, need seizure alert or response, need to be alerted to other medical issues like low blood sugar, or have psychiatric disabilities”.

In 2009, Congress authorized the “VA to provide service dogs for the aid of
persons with mental illnesses by amending” an already existing bill that only authorized seeing-eye dogs.

The Department of Veterans Affairs states, “We believe that providing service dogs under the statute necessarily includes providing veterinary treatment and hardware, and repairs to such hardware, required by the dog to perform in service to theveteran. Consistent with this interpretation of our statutory authority,
we propose to authorize payments for the care of service dogs that will help maintain the dogs’ ability to perform as service dogs”.

Service dogs not only physically assist those with disabilities but they also make many feel much more comfortable when they leave the privacy of their homes.

Check out more information here: Service Dogs Info
Another viable option for those living with disabilities are therapy dogs. Although therapy dogs are not covered by the VA they are widely utilized by those living with disabilities and people with other ailments.

Therapy Dogs are trained to provide affection and to be comforting to those that they encounter. Therapy dogs are often taken into hospitals, hospice centers, nursing homes and even after school programs. Therapy dogs have several benefits such as lowering blood pressure, stress levels, decreasing pain, improving confidence and comfort.

For more information check out: Therapy Dogs International
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