Benefits of Having an Assistance Dog for Wheelchair Users

Dogs are spirited bundles of joy to have around and keep you company. While typically they’re known for being loyal pets, they can also help people in everyday life. Assistance dogs or ‘dogs with jobs’ as people like to call them are specially trained across legal, educational and healthcare departments to help people carry out certain tasks.

In the healthcare sector, assistance dogs are handled by physical therapists and psychologists to facilitate recovery and symptom management for patients. They are also frequently adopted by people with disabilities for their physical and emotional benefits.

Specially trained dogs can help guide people with visual impairments, alert those who are deaf to certain sounds, and give wheelchair users greater freedom and security.

If you’re considering an assistance dog for yourself or a loved one, read on to find out how they can make a difference to your life…you might be surprised just what they can do to help!

1. Help with Routine Tasks

Assistance dogs are incredibly well-trained and can help carry out many everyday tasks like opening doors, flipping light switches, fetching tissues and retrieving anything that’s accidentally dropped on the ground. In some cases, they can even load and unload laundry from the washer and dryer! Other handy tasks they can perform include pressing street crossing and elevator buttons.

2. Physical Support

Karen was supported by her assistant dog Brandy at her graduation ceremony in Melbourne’s CBD. See more real-life stories at Assistance Dogs Australia.

Karen was supported by her assistant dog Brandy at her graduation ceremony in Melbourne’s CBD. See more real-life stories at Assistance Dogs Australia.

For extra safety when manoeuvring from your wheelchair to use the toilet, transfer on and off the couch or get in and out of bed, assistance dogs can help you balance and prevent you from falling. If you struggle getting on and off a footpath in your wheelchair, some larger dogs with a harness attached can also help by pulling you up and down.

If you’re travelling with your dog in the car, remember they require safety too! There are also special dog harnesses available for when they’re in the car with you that are easy to strap on and off.

3. Companionship

Dogs are renowned for being loyal and protective companions. With an assistance dog by your side, you will have good company wherever you go. When they’re not on task, they can provide you with playful entertainment and can ease feelings of loneliness when you’re at home.

4. Increased Independence

With an assistance dog, you can rely less on family members or your carer to do daily tasks like opening and closing doors. Teaming up with a dog who is energetic and always available to assist can give you a greater sense of freedom and independence.

5. Confidence in Social Settings

Dogs often get a lot of attention from others and are a great conversation starter or ice-breaker in any social situation! While people can’t interact with your assistant dog while they’re on duty – you can certainly talk to people and educate them about how assistant dogs work.

If you’d like to find out more about assistance dogs, take a look at Assistance Dogs Australia.

As industry leaders in Wheelchair Access Vehicle (WAV) conversions, we understand that living with a disability or limited mobility can sometimes be challenging. If you’d like to get out and about more, consider a Wheelchair Access Vehicle which we can adapt to suit your specific needs.

Call our friendly team on 1300 660 773, or contact us online for an obligation-free vehicle demonstration and consultation in your home, Australia wide.

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