Types of Service Animals and the Disabilities They Can Help With
We are lucky to be blessed with animals that can provide us company and comfort, but we’re even more fortunate to have them as assistants. In what way, you ask? Well, there are service animals who are specially trained to assist us in completing daily activities, especially when we’re unable to.
Service animals are far different from emotional support animals (ESAs). To put it simply, ESAs provide assistance for those with depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. On the other hand, service animals are highly trained to perform specialized work for persons with disabilities. They are credited for understanding the specific needs of an individual. Meanwhile, ESAs do not require training and fulfill their role by merely existing or accompanying their owners.
Types of Service Animals
2. Capuchin Monkeys
3. Miniature Horses
6. Potbelly Pigs
7. Boa Constrictors
While these animals can’t provide a cure, they can definitely help make daily life bearable for people with disabilities.
The Disabilities Service Animals Can Help With
1. Diabetes Patients
Amazingly, service animals, especially dogs, are alert to chemical changes in a person’s blood sugar. These animals can detect changes in blood sugar associated with hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic events through the sense of smell, which is imperceptible to humans. They can alert people before the blood sugar levels become dangerous.
Service animals provide an early warning system, just like a home security system, to alert people when they may need to seek out food or drink or take an insulin shot to increase or decrease their blood sugar levels. Furthermore, they are trained to draw attention to other people if their owner cannot speak or become incapacitated. Indeed, service animals help make diabetes easier to manage.
2. Severe Allergies
Some service animals are trained to detect allergens to a huge degree. They sniff out food and alert their owners whenever they find substances, such as gluten and peanuts, which can cause extreme allergies. Whether the packaging itself contains allergens or the food was cooked with peanut oil, service animals can warn their owners if something dangerous for them is contained within the food.
3. Hearing Impaired
For those with hearing impairments, service animals can assist by alerting them to noises such as crying babies, doorbells, or alarms. They would touch their owners and lead them toward the noise. They can also signal their owners if a fire alarm is going off.
Dogs are credited for their incredible hearing, and many hearing-impaired individuals have attested that their daily lives vastly improved after having specially trained hearing-aid dogs.
4. Visually Impaired
A guide dog accompanies his blind or visually impaired owner by wearing a U-shaped harness, which allows the owner to control him using a number of directional commands. These guide dogs are trained to determine and avoid potential obstacles both outside and inside the home. They are also trained to negotiate busy areas, including public transportation and city sidewalks. These service animals definitely make tasks like grocery shopping easier since they are trained to retrieve items, including credit cards, keys, or wallets.
5. Mobility Impaired
People who have mobility problems and are wheelchair-bound can also acquire the assistance of service animals. Service animals can help pull a wheelchair up a ramp, press buttons on automatic doors, bring objects to people, or even serve as a brace for people who walk unsteadily while standing on the flooring.
These service animals can help people increase their confidence and independence when going through their everyday routines. Their assistance can make the lives of people with mobility impairments safer and more enjoyable.