Service dogs don’t just help people who are blind to navigate the environment anymore. They can support people with a variety of mental and physical health conditions, allowing them to live more independently and avoid serious complications.
If you’re wondering, “Do I qualify for a service dog?” the answer varies. The definition of a service dog can also vary, depending on who’s giving it.
Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, a service dog has to be trained specifically to do a certain task or work for someone with a disability. That means an animal that purely provides emotional comfort doesn’t qualify under the ADA.
Even if your condition doesn’t meet the ADA guidelines, you can still have an assistance dog to help you. These dogs often alert their owners of oncoming medical issues, help them with daily tasks, and provide comfort.
Keep reading to explore 13 conditions that may benefit from a service dog.
High or low blood sugar causes scent changes that a trained service dog can detect on your breath. Your dog may be able to tell when your blood sugar is off before you feel any symptoms.
The dog alerts you so that you can test your blood sugar levels. Having that early warning from your service animal allows you to use insulin or glucose to remedy the problem before it causes serious issues.
Some dogs can be trained to detect a seizure before it happens. By alerting you of the oncoming seizure, you can get to a safe place to avoid serious injury.
The dog also stays by the handler’s side during the seizure. If the owner needs medical attention, the dog goes for help, alerting people nearby with barks. Your dog can also be trained to press a button on a medical alert system to call for help.
If you’re legally blind, a service dog can help you navigate wherever you go. They alert you to stairs and curbs to prevent tripping, and they can guide you around obstacles.
Guide dogs also help people cross roads safely. They might help you find things in public, such as an entrance to a building or an elevator.