Service dogs are typically thought of as necessary companions for the visually impaired, but service and therapy dogs can be incredibly helpful for those with neuromuscular disorders.
As well as being a trusted friend, service dogs can expand owners’ motor abilities, granting them new independence and allowing them to get more out of life. Adults and children with neuromuscular diseases like spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), muscular dystrophy (MD) and multiple sclerosis (MS) may find introducing a service dog to the family improves their lives, allowing them to take a little pressure off their caregivers and giving them a best friend for life.
Service dogs can be trained to pull wheelchairs and to help wheelchairs up ramps and onto sidewalks. They can also help their owner move in and out of the wheelchair.
Having a chronic illness can bring about many emotional and mental health problems. The calming nature of service and therapy dogs can help ease anxiety and petting dogs is known to release endorphins and reduce stress.