The Different Types of Service Animals & How They Can Help
There are so many unique situations and disabilities that define the human race, and the majority of these disabilities can be greatly improved with the use of a service animal. We are lucky enough that animals can be specially trained to help us complete tasks in our daily lives. The most amazing part of these animals is that they can be trained to help with countless issues. It is hard to believe that there are so many different types of service animals.
For people with hearing impairments, these types of service dogs assist by alerting their human to noises such as alarms, doorbells, or crying babies. When the dog hears the sound, they’ll touch their human and lead toward the noise.
these types of service dogs can provide independence and security by alerting to chemical changes in their handler’s blood sugar. The scent changes associated with hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic events in diabetics are imperceptible to humans, but dogs can pick up on them and alert their people to blood sugar highs and lows before the levels become dangerous.
Allergy detection dogs are trained to sniff out and alert to the odor of things such as peanuts or gluten.
This versatile category of service dog assists people who are suffering from issues like depression, anxiety and most often post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD can afflict people after they’ve served in combat, worked as a first responder, or experienced abuse, natural disasters, terrorism and other life-altering events, such as car crashes.
This type of dog is most often paired with individuals that are blind or visually impaired. A guide dog often accompanies his owner wearing a U-shaped harness, which allows the human to control the dog using a series of directional commands. These dogs are trained to identify – and avoid – potential obstacles both inside and outside of the home. Often, guide dogs are trained to negotiate busy areas, including city sidewalks and public transportation.
Although seizure dogs are trained to assist people that have seizures, they cannot predict and oncoming seizure. However, they can activate life-saving alert systems that summon medical help, roll a person into proper position, or retrieve medications that can be administered to help put an end to a seizure.
Mobility assistance dogs can bring objects to people, press buttons on automatic doors, serve as a brace for people who are ambulatory or even help pull a wheelchair up a ramp. These dogs help people increase their independence and confidence.
In addition to improving the child’s quality of life by reducing isolation and comforting the child in stressful times, these dogs are also trained to keep children from running away and can often track children if they do run off.
The Bottom Line
Service Animals aren’t restricted to just being dogs. Dogs are the most common type of service animal used, but the following animals are also permitted to be specially trained as a service animal:
- Miniature Horses
- Capuchin Monkeys
- Boa Constrictors
- Potbelly Pigs
The bottom line is that there are many different disabilities or disorders that can be treated with the use of a service animal. Obviously, these animals can’t provide a cure, but they can help make everyday life a little more bearable.