Service animals are specifically trained to perform tasks that mitigate the symptoms of disabilities. The specific tasks that service dogs can perform depend on the specific disability they are trained to mitigate. These tasks vary widely depending on the type of disability the handler is dealing with.
Let’s look at the most common tasks service animals perform...
Retrieval of items
One of the most common tasks service animals can perform is retrieving items. This helps with many disabilities, including mobility assistance. People with limited mobility especially need this task as it helps prevent stress and injury to the handler.
Not only can service animals retrieve medication, they can remind a handler to take their medication. This can be a vital task for people with disabilities, including those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It can be difficult for people with PTSD to remember to take their medication. Therefore, retrieving medication is an imperative task.
Mobility assistance includes a service dog pushing or pulling someone, such as in a wheelchair. It can also include helping a handler to get into a standing position, assisting with grounding, and helping with support and stability while walking.
Providing tactile stimulation
When it comes to using a psychiatric service dog, there are a few tasks that are vital. One of these tasks includes tactile stimulation. Tactile stimulation is when a service animal uses pressure through tugging, licking, or nudging to “ground” a handler and helps them stay present while calming the nervous system and releasing a calming effect.
Service dogs are highly trained animals that perform the work and tasks necessary for people with disabilities to function. If you like to know more about what tasks service animals perform for people that have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) please read our article Psychiatric Service Dogs Explained and for more great content from New Life K9s, please sign up to follow our blog.