How Service Dogs Can Benefit People With Neuromuscular Diseases

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.

Here are just a few benefits that having a service dog can bring to people who live with neuromuscular diseases according to healthfitnessrevolution.com, mira.ca, the Lung Institute, and rover.com.

Wheelchair Assistance
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.

Anxiety Relief
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.

MORE: Five ways Cure SMA offers help to newly diagnosed SMA families

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