How Dogs are Helping Vulnerable People in our Communities

It is a well-known fact that a a strong bond connects the owners to their pets and vice-versa. Because of this, our pets, especially the dogs, have become effective assistance animals and loyal companions. For instance, the visually impaired, those who are hard of hearing, and the elderly count on guide dogs in doing some of their day-to-day activities. In addition, a research conducted by Dr. Karen Allen of the University of New York in Buffalo shows that assistance dogs can cut back at least $13,000 of the government’s appropriations on health services.

Apart from providing companionship, here are some benefits that guide dogs can give:

1. Assuage the mental illness of the elderly

Dogs are not only fun to be around, but they can also help take the edge off of some of the stresses of old people who are suffering from mental conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s. When a person who is troubled with dementia has anxiety bursts, cute puppies help in mollifying them. Moreover, having an involvement with dogs can pique the appetite of our old folks.

2. Can serve as an alert dog

An article from BBC reported that a dog in Kent functions as an assistance dog and an alert dog. The canine named Hetty, had undergone seizure alert training through the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and Support Dogs UK. Because of this, Hetty can predict an epilepsy episode 42 minutes before it actually occurs.

3. Lend a hand to farmers with disabilities

Through the dogs trained by PHARM Dog USA, farmers who are visually impaired can still grow some crops and tend their farm. Canines of certain breeds were taught how to recover tools, carry buckets, and open the gates for blind farmhands.

4. Help deaf people

The so-called ‘hearing dogs’ help deaf people to recognise and respond to some sounds. For example, when someone rang the doorbell or when the fire alarm was set off, these dogs know how they will draw the attention of their owners.

5. Make people feel better

According to a study, 71 percent of the respondents, who are mainly composed of the elderly, claimed that having a dog companion makes them feel better. The same study also revealed that animal companionship may save at least 30,000 lives each year. Moreover, old folks who live with dogs have lower blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol compared with those who do not.