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Service Dog for Migraines | How They Can Help & How To Qualify

Dec 20, 2018 By USSA

Service Dog for Migraines

It may seem crazy that a migraine can be a reason to obtain a service dog, but it is possible. Most individuals never consider this idea because they don’t know that it is possible or that it could greatly benefit them. Dogs have been utilized for a number of different reasons and providing help is one of them. The thorough training that service animals go through helps them learn specialized skills to take care of their owner.

All of us have probably experienced a migraine from time to time, but this doesn’t mean we are capable of obtaining a service dog for it. Those who need the service animal most likely experience these migraines very frequently and would consider them chronic.

How A Service Dog Can Help With Migraines

These dogs are trained in a way that they have been tailored to fit your needs. They learn what your normal qualities and behaviors are and which ones aren’t quite normal. Dogs have a heightened sense of smell and this helps them notice when things are a bit off well before you may even be aware. To bring this change to your attention these dogs may do the following:

  • Staring at your or sticking very closely
  • Giving you a nudge or licking you
  • Circling around you
  • Barking to get your attention

Some dogs do it naturally. In one study among dog-owning migraine sufferers, over 50% of participants reported that their dogs behaved differently towards them before the onset of a headache. Closer to 60% reported that their dogs had actively alerted them to a coming attack.

The fact that these dogs are able to detect these changes and associate them with an oncoming migraine is extremely beneficial. In most cases migraines sneak up on you and hit you out of nowhere. By the time you realize you have one your medication either takes too long to kick in or isn’t near as effective. These dogs let you know at the first sign that a migraine may be coming on. This allows you time to take you necessary medications before the pain sets in.

What It Costs To Get A Service Dog

The price to obtain one of these animals is around $10,000- $20,000. If you think you are a good candidate and could greatly benefit from having a migraine alert dog in your life, reach out to a service animal company. Unlike most service animal companies, there typically isn’t a wait list that allows you to obtain the animal for little to no cost. These animals are very specialized, but they are not considered a necessary component to an individual’s life. This doesn’t mean that you can’t try and raise the funds on your own, you just won’t receive it through insurance or the company for free.

How To Qualify

The bottom line is that if you are suffering from chronic migraines and think a migraine alert dog can help you manage this and increase your quality of life, look into it! These dogs are great companions and they can help you feel better and beat those nasty migraines before they occur. In addition to having one of these animals it is always a great idea to keep a migraine diary that charts what you ate and symptoms you were feeling before your migraine began. These are known as triggers and can help you learn on your own certain things that may be causing the migraine disturbance.