Dogs for people with special needs

Dog in the grass

Finding a great canine friend is easy when you have websites like Mypetzilla.co.uk as they provide you both knowledge about all the dog breeds of UK and also pets for adoption or sale. But, sometimes a dog is more than a pet and a best friend, it can be a helpful companion for people who suffer from certain disabilities. Such dogs are called assistance dogs or service dogs and can be instructed by their owners or by professional trainers. Smart and reliable, these dogs offer the support patients need in order to improve their lifestyle and manage tasks which would have been impossible or difficult to handle without the aid of a service dog.

So what is it that defines a service dog? He or she is trained to offer assistance or perform chores for the use of a person with a physical or mental disability who has limitation when it comes to major life functions.

The service dogs can be trained to be:

  • Guide dogs for people with visual loss or visual impairment, they lead the person around obstacles, help opening and closing doors, call elevators and more.
  • Service Dogs for people diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities. Studies have proven that this type of trained dogs can change the way the brain works when it comes to anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, trauma and more. They offer security and have a calming influence on the suffering person.
  • Mobility service dogs, can help by providing support when a person needs to stand up or sit down, can turn on and off switch lights, assist the owner if he or she falls, picking up fallen items and more.
  • Hearing alert dogs let the owner know when the telephone or the doorbell ring. Alert the owner if a baby is crying, wakes them up when the alarm is ringing or alerts them in case of a fire alarm.
  • Seizure response dogs are trained to assist people who have epilepsy or seizure disorders. They can activate a pre-programmed phone or find another person to help. Some can develop a sense of knowing when a seizure is about to happen.
  • Diabetes response dogs give a previous alert to their owners, warning them when they are about to have a hypoglycaemic or hyperglycaemic episode. They detect changes in blood sugars levels through the smell of the skin and the breath of the diabetic up to 30 min prior to a glucose meter or glucose monitor.
  • Autism service dogs offer assistance when it comes to children suffering from the disease. They help the little one keep calm, maintain their focus and give them purpose. In addition, these dogs will alert the parents in case of a meltdown.

The best dog breeds suitable for being service dogs are the Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retriever/Golden Retriever crossbred dogs, and German Shepherd. When well-trained, these dogs are very reliable and extremely useful to people who suffer from disabilities such as the ones mentioned above.

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