If you live in the big city or do a whole lot of commuting to and from it, then there’s a good chance you’ve encountered a seeing eye dog faithfully pulling his sight-impaired owner along. You may have also noticed how most of these dogs are wearing specialized collars instead of the common everyday variety.
While it’s definitely sobering to think about how it is to have your vision compromised to the point that you need a dog on a leash and collar to get around, there’s nothing more inspiring than to see man’s best friend becoming something more than just a companion.
However, did you ever wonder just how truly important a seeing-eye dog is to their sight-impaired person? If you thought that the duties of a seeing eye dog started and ended with them leading their owner around the outside world safely, then you’d be mistaken.
Below are just some of the many reasons why these specially-trained canine companions can be so vital to their owners, not just in terms of safety and awareness but also in how they deal with their impairment. (See also: Food Diet for Dogs – The Ultimate Guide)
- They help their owners get around everywhere safely. It’s not just the outdoors that sight-impaired individuals need help with, but also indoors – especially when they’re new to a particular house, apartment, or building. Seeing eye dogs can help them navigate the premises better and also warn them about possibly hazardous obstacles in advance, like a stairwell or a high threshold they may trip over. It’s also for this reason that a customized martingale collar is one of the best collars for a seeing-eye dog. It not only allows a dog to take the lead without being afraid of choking or hurting itself, but it’s also designed to prevent them from accidentally slipping free of the leash.
- They can protect their owners from danger. Seeing eye dogs are trained to bark only at times when they need to call their owner’s attention towards something important or urgent, such as potentially dangerous elements and situations. They will also refuse to move from their spot if they believe that their owner may be putting themselves in danger, such as trying to cross a busy road or intersection. Finally, while seeing eye dogs are trained not to be aggressive towards strangers, the sight of them alone may deter potential attackers and dangerous individuals from interacting with their owner.
- They can give their owners a sense of independence and freedom back. Having a seeing eye dog allows a sight-impaired person to venture out and do things on their own, all without having to rely on anyone else but their furry companion. Seeing eye dogs are trained to follow their owner’s commands, guiding them to their desired destination safely and easily. This not only alleviates the sense of despair and imprisonment someone dealing with their blindness can have but also makes them regain their self-confidence.
- They give their owners valuable companionship. The companionship of a loyal dog can do wonders for a person’s physical and mental health. Imagine then what good it would do for someone who’s lost their sense of sight – someone who may be dealing with feelings of loneliness and solitude due to their condition. By giving their owner the unconditional love and companionship that only a pet dog can bring, a seeing eye dog can help their owner become more active and outgoing, as well as make them deal with their current condition in a much healthier fashion.
The benefits of having a seeing eye dog aren’t just limited to helping a blind or vision-impaired person navigate their way in the world more easily and safely. Rather, these benefits extend to helping the vision-impaired deal with their current condition as well as allow them to go through life with the same kind of confidence and dignity they had prior to their condition. Having a seeing eye dog also allows them to experience the same unconditional love and companionship that dog owners have – something that can greatly contribute to their physical and mental well-being.
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About The Author:
Stacey Smith is the freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology and nutrition and provide in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.