How service dogs help ease disabled living

December 30th, 2009 - 3:42 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, December 30 (ANI): Service dogs can help increase safety and independence for people with disabilities or illness in several ways, experts have observed.

A report in the Mayo Clinic Health Letter exemplifies how breeds such as Labrador or Golden retrievers, can be trained in many specialties including:

Skilled assistance dogs — These dogs are trained to help those who are physically disabled. They can open doors, pull wheelchairs, turn on lights, retrieve the telephone or summon help.

Hearing dogs — These dogs alert their handlers to alarm clocks, doorbells, smoke alarms, approaching vehicles or someone calling the handler’s name.

Diabetes response dogs — These dogs carry objects such as juice bottles and can retrieve a phone or sniff the handler’s breath for low blood sugar.

Alzheimer’s helper dogs — These dogs are trained to stay with a person who has Alzheimer’s — or fetch help — if the person starts to wander or gets into an unsafe situation.

Parkinson’s disease helper dogs — These dogs can assist with balance.

Psychiatric service dogs — These dogs help people who are disabled by severe mental illness by calming anxieties, prodding their handler to take medications and interrupting harmful compulsions. (ANI)

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