About Time: The Importance of Assistance DogsBy Angelica Malin
Assistance dogs help over 7,000 disabled people in the UK. They help with practical tasks so the person can have more independence in their day to day life. These furry companions also offer a whole host of emotional benefits for the individual.
From restoring family relationships to helping the person with their job, assistance dogs are the perfect companion for individuals with disabilities. So what exactly can these dogs help with?
Guide dogs for the blind
Guide dogs can help blind people feel safe and secure in the outside world. Blindness can seriously impact someone’s confidence in their day to day life. Two million people in the UK are living with sight loss and 360,000 of them have guide dogs. These specially-trained dogs can help blind individuals lead more fulfilling lives.
Allied Mobility is also a great way to help individuals with disabilities get around. Similar to guide dogs, disabled vehicles can increase your independence and make your daily life a little easier.
Assistance dogs are often trained by charities with volunteers. Support dogs are trained to help individuals with autism, epilepsy and physical disabilities. They undergo full-time training to be well-behaved in public with safe and reliable temperaments. They are healthy, hygienic and fully toilet trained. You can spot a support dog through their organisation harness or coat.
Hearing dogs for deaf people
Deafness can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. Our society is built on interaction and communication – deafness can make us feel separated from that.
Hearing dogs help deaf people to feel less vulnerable near traffic and in public places, like airports and train stations. Often deaf people can be afraid of missing an emergency danger sound, like a smoke alarm. Hearing dogs can take away some of these difficulties and reduce the person’s fear.
Canine partners can help people with physical disabilities to perform difficult tasks. For example, closing doors, picking up items and retrieving TV remotes. Assistance dogs can put you and your family at ease when leaving you alone at home.
Disabilities can put stress on your personal relationships. Assistance dogs can help restore relationships, which may have been struggling.
Canine partners can also help disabled individuals return to their jobs or take new ones. Disabilities can impact someone’s self-confidence. Fortunately, assistance dogs can help remove these barriers and return some confidence to the individual. Disabled individuals often say they fear people only talk to them because of their disability. However, with a guide dog – people talk to them about the dog instead. Support dogs can really help the person to talk to other people and get back into their daily life.
Support dogs help get people out and about. All dogs need walking – specially trained or not!