Service Dogs Helping Disabled Veterans by Providing a Better Quality of Life

Post Date: January 1, 2018
Share This Article

Under the ADA, a service dog is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the veteran’s disability.


Promotion of Functional Ability and Independence

  • Assistance Dogs complete essential tasks so a person with a disability can return to the community, increase independence and improve their quality of life
  • People can live alone and improve and maintain functional ability
  • Dog provides help with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) such as shopping tasks, fine motor tasks. This leads to less wear and tear on the body
  • Decrease the amount of family and hired caregiver hours required by providing concrete physical assistant
  • Bringing peace of mind to loved ones of person with disability
  • Increased sense of security. Retrieve phone or caregiver. Get help, pull cords

Psychosocial barriers reduced

  • Promote improved social interactions
  • Promote increased participation in community-based activities.
  • A person with disability seems more approachable to others
  • Allows the person with disabilities to gain confidence in community reintegration situations
  • Decrease loneliness and depression, the dog becomes someone to interact with, a companion, part of the family. Creates a purpose.
  • A calming effect; allows the person with disabilities to focus on another not themselves
  • Care of the dog decreases stress and anxiety. It provides a sense of responsibility and a daily routine

Physical Barriers Reduced

  • Provides physiologic benefits such as lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and decreased heart rate
  • Enhanced levels of dopamine and endorphins, decreased levels of stress hormone cortisol
  • The physical warmth and compression of the dog laying on/near you reduces perceived pain levels
  • Motivates to adopt long term behavior changes that lead to weight loss and positive health outcomes
  • People with disabilities exercise more by taking dogs for a walk, fetch, and grooming activities.

*Information provided by Paws with a Cause:

*For more information please visit K9 for Warriors, a nonprofit organization devoted to placing service dogs with disabled veterans: