Service Dog for POTS – How They Help & How To Qualify

Post Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome impacts millions of people around the world and makes it challenging to live a normal life. Finding the right treatment methods for the condition can improve an individual’s outlook and reduce/manage the onset of symptoms.

While there are plenty of traditional methods to treat POTS, and they’re effective, service dogs have been shown to improve the quality of life for someone who has POTS.

That said, getting a service dog isn’t as simple as adopting a dog and bringing them out in public. It’s important to understand how service dogs for POTS can help and how you can get one. Read on to learn everything you need to know.

What Is Post Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome?

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, also known as POTS, is a disorder that makes it difficult for the body to properly regulate blood flow. This, in turn, can lead to a variety of negative symptoms and physiological effects, including lightheadedness, difficulty having clear or coherent thoughts, blurred vision, and weakness of the extremities.

While POTS is much more common in women, men can also suffer from this condition. Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome usually appears in adults between the ages of 18 and 50 and is much less common in adolescents.

In any case, you will need to consult a licensed physician to see if you or someone you love is suffering from Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.

Is POTS a Disability?

Yes, POTS can be a disability but only if it’s deemed one by a licensed mental health professional. When POTS is a disability, individuals are eligible for Social Security benefits as well as service animals. Typically, the condition will have to prevent you from working to qualify for a service dog.

Symptoms of POTS

While POTS can affect people differently, there are a few universal symptoms.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is always characterized by difficulties moving from a lying or sitting position to a standing position, and vice versa. Imagine lying down and then trying to sit back up, only for your blood levels to become unbalanced, causing you to feel confused and physically disoriented.

When a sudden change in posture occurs, this disorder can cause individuals to feel dizzy, faint, shaky, or even suffer from blurred vision. If the change in position happens quickly, it can cause a person to faint, which can be very dangerous, as this can lead to physical injuries. This is particularly bad if the fainting spell causes the person to hit their head.

From an outsider’s perspective, it can seem like those with POTS suffer for no apparent reason. For example, individuals with POTS can faint or fall just by trying to stand up. This can be extremely scary, as it can happen randomly and without warning.

Having random fainting spells wouldn’t be ideal for anyone, but imagine trying to be independent and always having this worry in the back of your mind. You have the burden of knowing that you may pass out at any time, and you could be in a situation where no one is around to help you.

POTS is not widely known, but those who are affected by it often suffer daily. Thankfully, there are ways for people with POTS to alleviate some of their symptoms and have peace of mind in their daily lives. One of the best ways to help make life with POTS easier is a service animal.

How Is POTS Treated?

There are a handful of treatment options for POTS, and depending on the severity of the condition, a handful of treatments may be combined.

One of the most popular treatment methods is medication. Some common medications include beta-blockers, steroids, and other medications that can help with blood pressure. Compression stockings and IV fluids can also be used to help someone manage POTS.

There are also some lifestyle changes that people can make to improve their prognosis. First and foremost, a diet that contains more salt and water can help someone balance the condition and reduce the risk of fainting. Exercising can also help with POTS because it can reduce blood pressure.

The last treatment method to consider is a service dog, which can be used along with other treatments for POTS as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Service dogs can help people with POTS by making sure they’re safe and getting help when needed.

What Is a Service Animal?

Service animals (typically dogs) have been trained to perform specific tasks that a person is incapable of performing on their own. For this reason, service animals are allowed in public spaces where other animals (possibly including emotional support animals) may not be allowed to go.

Service animals can serve as an integral part of treatment plans for a variety of disabilities, from POTS to PTSD.

A service dog can help those suffering from POTS restore some normalcy to their lives. It also has the added benefit of providing emotional comfort and companionship to its owner.

With a service dog, POTS sufferers have the reassurance of knowing that someone is always looking out for their best interests. Additionally, they know that someone is always nearby to help them when they need it the most.

What You Need to Qualify

No matter the exact circumstances of your condition, everyone must meet the same standards to qualify for a service animal.

First and foremost, you will need to get written approval and consent from a licensed physician. The physician must verify that you have POTS. This is a very important step, as POTS often goes undiagnosed. Once the physician determines that you do in fact have POTS, they will need to evaluate the severity of your condition.

Generally, service dogs are only recommended if a condition severely impacts a person’s well-being. So, if your condition only causes you to have relatively mild symptoms, a service dog may not be warranted, and therefore you will not qualify to own one.

For example, if you feel a little dizzy when standing up, or have mild feelings of weakness, your doctor may determine that your symptoms are not severe enough for a service dog. However, if your condition causes you to have fainting spells, shakiness, or blurred vision, then a service dog might be the best option for you.

Once you obtain qualification from a physician, you will be able to get a trained service dog to help you in your daily life. However, you will need to consider the costs of owning and caring for a service dog before proceeding. Service animals can be quite expensive, so it is important to consider if getting one is the right choice for you.

How Expensive Is a POTS Service Dog?

POTS service dogs cost around $10,000 to $30,000 to train. However, it’s also possible to get a POTS service dog for free if you plan on training the dog yourself. While this is possible, we always recommend using a professional instead.

You can also get a free service dog using organizations like PAWS for a Cause or Canine Companions. These non-profit programs help people get the service dogs they need for free.

How a Service Dog Can Help With POTS

POTS can be a challenging condition to manage on your own, which is why service dogs are a great treatment method. Service dogs for POTS are great at helping people manage their condition and remain safe. Discover some of the things that service dogs can do for POTS below.


Above all else, a service dog can offer protection, love, and security to someone suffering from POTS. These are things so many of us overlook in our everyday lives but are nonetheless vital to our happiness and mental well-being. This is especially true for people with debilitating conditions like POTS.

Often, people with POTS may not have a network of support from friends or family members, leaving them feeling helpless or afraid to go about their daily routine alone.

Thankfully, service dogs can be trained to notice when their owner may be experiencing a fainting spell or similarly negative symptoms. The dogs can bark or use physical contact to alert you of an impending episode. This way, you can be aware of the situation and know that a fainting episode may be near.

In many cases, this alert from your service dog allows you to regain composure and potentially avoid fainting altogether. Even if you are unable to avoid fainting, your dog will be trained to alert those nearby to bring help.


Fainting is one of the more extreme symptoms, but battling feelings of dizziness or disorientation is also very common among people with POTS.

A service dog can help an individual regain balance and feel stabilized when walking. If you have a dog to walk alongside you and maintain constant physical contact, you are far less likely to feel disoriented or fall.

Spatial Awareness

Many individuals with POTS suffer from sudden changes in their peripheral vision as well. It may be that you sense movement in your peripheral vision, or perhaps your vision becomes blurred and your peripheral vision is reduced or completely impaired. In any case, a service dog can be a vital asset when this happens.

By having a constant presence to help you steady yourself and understand your spatial surroundings, you can overcome these disorienting episodes more quickly. Then, hopefully, you can experience less anxiety in the process.

In addition to their spatial presence and awareness, service dogs can act as a second set of eyes to ensure your safety.

Retrieving Items

Simple tasks can cause individuals with POTS to suffer greatly, as they feel that their guard is down when they need to change positions. Simply bending down to pick up a dropped item can cause a dizzy spell.

Thankfully, a service dog can help retrieve items for you, saving you the trouble of getting them yourself, while also making you feel safe and cared for at the same time.

Mental Health and Isolation

Individuals who suffer from any type of physical or psychological disorder have barriers that they must overcome. A lot of people tend to keep their struggles to themselves. When this happens, they try to deal with adverse symptoms without any assistance. In many cases, this can lead to depression and other negative outcomes.

Rather than taking unnecessary risks, a service animal can help ensure that those suffering from POTS always have someone to count on.

Service dogs can be specially trained to help people with POTS. However, this specialization means that POTS service dogs are significantly more expensive than many other types of service dogs. It is also more difficult for someone to obtain a POTS service dog, because a doctor may not deem it a necessity.

No matter the case, animals can help anyone feel loved and cared for, while also helping them feel more independent. A service dog that is trained to help with a serious condition is even more of an asset. After all, no one should have to put a price tag on their independence.

Acquiring a Service Dog for POTS

There are significant benefits to having a service dog if you suffer from POTS. If you are looking for a way to feel a bit more independent, a service dog is a major step in the right direction.

Additionally, service dogs can perform vital tasks such as retrieving items, alerting others in the event of an emergency, providing physical stability, and perhaps most importantly, providing companionship and emotional support.

That said, not everyone who has been diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome will qualify for a service dog. You will first need to consult with a physician who is familiar with your condition to determine if a service dog is the right treatment option for you.

If you and your doctor agree that a service dog could benefit you and help alleviate some of the suffering caused by POTS, then you can continue the process of obtaining your service animal. That’s where we come in.

The experts at know how much a service dog can mean to someone in need, and we even offer online training for psychiatric service dogs.

Additionally, we understand the legal process that you must go through to qualify for a service animal, and we can help you every step of the way. You can learn more about qualifying for a service dog here, or if you have additional questions about how a service dog can benefit you or a loved one, feel free to contact us directly at this link.