Dogs are incredible creatures. They have innate “superpowers” that help them detect numerous ailments and issues in their owners. With these powers, dogs can save lives and ease the stress of their human companions.
1. Detect seizures
Dogs who specialize in seizure detection can have two duties: seizure alert or seizure response. Seizure alert dogs can alert their owner or someone else when their owner is about to have a seizure.
Seizure response dogs react while the episode is happening and bark for help or handle an alarm system. They can help move their owner to a safe place or make it easier for them to contact someone for help after their seizure passes. Even just a minute saved thanks to these dogs can be life-changing.
2. Provide mental health support
Anybody who snuggles up with their pup after a long day can attest to the mental healing they feel when around their pet. The way dogs make humans feel better is just one of the many reasons they are considered man’s best friend. Even more heartwarming is that dogs can help with mental illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD-trained service dogs can give their owners extra peace of mind. They may keep a watch out for their owner or stand between them and any approaching strangers. By doing so, their owner can feel more secure in their daily life. They can feel independent while navigating the world post-trauma.
3. Sense diabetes
These dogs know how to react to the specific scent of their owners. A diabetes-trained dog can sense when its owner’s blood sugar level is dropping, which causes them to alert their human. The dog’s owner can then check their blood sugar and take steps to avoid an emergency.
Diabetes works quickly, and those with Type 1 diabetes need to take action suddenly sometimes. Dogs can help support that by giving them a heads up – that way, their owners won’t panic.
4. Support people with autism
People with autism may need extra support, as they may not understand something or connect with others socially. Having a dog can ensure a child with autism always has an icebreaker and something to talk about with others.
These dogs may also give a child the opportunity to stim without worrying what others will think. Though stimming is perfectly normal in many cases of autism, some children may feel isolated by their peers for stimming in what appears to be an “unusual” way. Keeping their dog nearby can rectify this issue and help them feel more comfortable and safer.
5. Detect allergies
Some of the most common allergies include dairy products, tree nuts, and eggs, which are often processed with other foods. As such, in trace amounts, they may be nearly undetectable to humans. That’s where the service dogs come in.
Dogs can be trained to sniff out specific ingredients, which they can then use to alert their humans that an allergen is present. Allergy-detecting dogs can significantly help kids at school, where they can’t always control the food they’re exposed to. Dogs that work as allergy detectors can give parents peace of mind when sending their children off to school.
Appreciate your dog’s talents
When you look at your pet dog, do you see its limitless potential? Dogs are intelligent and empathetic, always ready to work and please. Dogs can form bonds with humans from all walks of life and all needs and help them learn to love life again.
With specially-trained service dogs, people with specific disabilities can have more independence and know that they have a safety net taking care of them in the form of a fluffy companion.
Jane Marsh is an environmental writer who is passionate about pet care and health. To read more of her work, follow her site Environment.co.