10 Reasons Fibromyalgia Patients Need a Therapy Dog
Service and therapy dogs can provide medical services such as:
- Assist with balance issues
- Pick up dropped items
- Open/close doors, refrigerators, or drawers
- Diabetic alerts
- Seizure alerts
- Alerting for help
- Mitigate the trauma of PSTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) by shielding, grounding for flashbacks and anxiety, and so much more
A therapy dog provides affection, comfort, and love to those who are in retirement homes, home-bound, in disaster areas, or who are in nursing facilities with disabilities. They can give people with anxiety disorders or autism comfort.
The law provides that service dogs can go anywhere the public goes. These types of businesses are privately owned businesses like retail stores, theaters, concert venues, restaurants, hotel, and sports facilities. The American Disabilities Act (ADA) requires those with a service dog to be allowed to bring their animal into the business. If someone at the shop tells you to leave your dog outside, let them know it is a service dog. No one can ask you what your disability is or demand proof of your dog’s certification. Check out the laws in your state; every state has different laws regarding service animals.
Those with fibromyalgia suffer widespread muscle and joint pain and fatigue. Patients also experience anxiety or depression associated with fibromyalgia, numbness, and tingling in hands, arms, feet, and legs. Headaches, the danger of falling, dizziness, and inability to do everyday tasks are more common symptoms of fibromyalgia. How awesome would it be to have a service dog be by your side to keep you from falling, help you open and close doors, alert you to dangers, and be there when you need a friend?
Studies show that those who suffer from fibromyalgia or chronic pain and have a service or therapy dog can cope with symptoms much better than those who go at it alone. Studies prove that those with heart ailments, and who have pets are less likely to need additional care after being released from the hospital.
10 reasons for a service/therapy dog
Basic tasks performed by service dogs include:
1. Wheelchair assistance
Train your service dog to pull your wheelchair and help you get up ramps and onto sidewalks. If the dog is agile and big enough, they can help you get in and out of your wheelchair.
2. Retrieve items
Service dogs are perfect for picking up dropped items and fetching things from all around your home when you are too tired and sore to move. Service dogs can be trained to help you with laundry by carrying laundry baskets or nudging piles of dirty laundry out of the way.
3. Lower blood pressure and heart rates
There is scientific evidence that just petting your dog and sitting next to him/her lowers blood pressure and heart rates. Their body heat can also help soothe away pains. On a cold winter’s night, a furry friend warming your feet is priceless.
4. Anxiety and stress relief
Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness that brings on emotional and mental health issues, and symptoms are often brought on by stress and anxiety. Medical professionals maintain that patients with fibromyalgia avoid stress as much as possible. The calming nature of a therapy and service dog eases anxiety. Endorphins and stress relief comes from petting your very own service/therapy dog.
Read on for even more reasons to find companionship in a therapy or service dog.