Service dogs have had a place in American healthcare for almost 100 years. While companion animals were relatively common in European mental institutions during the late 19th century, dogs were not incorporated into American therapy settings until 1919.  Guide dogs for the blind began being trained in the United States in 1929, after World War I left many veterans without their sight. Though the use of service animals expanded after World War II and the Korean War, it wasn’t until the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 that people with assistance dogs were guaranteed access to businesses and services available to the general public.  For National Service Dog Month, we will outline the programs available for those in need of assistance that could be filled by

a properly trained service animal as well as resources available for the health of our animal companions.   There are many different kinds of service animals that perform numerous tasks.  As mentioned above, therapy or companion animals can be a comfort to those with mental or emotional distress and guide dogs are able to navigate and retrieve items for the blind and visually impaired.  Hearing or signal dogs help people who are deaf or hard of hearing be alerted to the sound of their name, alarm clocks, doorbells, or smoke alarms. There are two different kinds of specially trained dog available for patients with seizure disorders. Some dogs can be trained to smell a change in blood sugar in a diabetic person’s breath and…