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7 Incredible and Unlikely Ways Service Dogs Save Humans Everyday

Written by: Marissa Rubenstein

November 20, 2014

In paw-nor of International Guide Dog day, we’ve partnered with the TODAY show and Guiding Eyes for the Blind to reshare and celebrate some of our favorite pieces about guide dogs!

The abilities of dogs to guide blind people, provide therapy and detect seizures is fairly well known. But dogs have all sorts of talents that can completely transform lives. From detecting trace amounts of nuts in food for those with allergies, to even possibly sniffing out cancer, here are some unexpected service dog jobs that show man’s best friend lending an unexpected, but vital paw.

1. Severe Allergy Alert Dogs

Anyone who knows anyone with a severe allergy knows one bite of food could potentially end in an emergency trip to the hospital. For some, such accidents can be deadly and that’s where these highly trained pups come to the rescue. Often paired with young children, Allergy Alert Dogs are trained to detect trace amounts of certain allergens and alert their owner to the allergen’s presence.

Image via Vegetarian Mama
Image via Vegetarian Mama

2. Hearing Dogs

Hearing dogs are trained to alert their deaf and hearing disabled owners to important sounds that they otherwise would be unable to hear, like fire alarms, doorbells, and even the cries of a baby!

Image via Flickr
Image via Flickr

3. Weather Therapy Dog

Yep you read that right! Butler the Weather Channel Therapy dog works with people and towns devastated by major natural disasters. Never underestimate the healing power of a good belly rub!

Image via Facebook
Image via Facebook

4. Autism Service Dogs

Often paired with young children with autism, these dogs can transform the lives of children AND their families. From providing emotional support, to preventing a child from meandering off, a service dog can make a huge difference in the lives of autistic kids.

Image via Autism Service Dogs of America
Image via Autism Service Dogs of America

5. Brace/Mobility Support Dogs

These dogs not only allow their owners to lead more normal, mobile lives, but they can also dial phones, open doors, call elevators, turn on and off lights; the list goes on and on! And you thought your dog pushing open the screen door made him talented…

Image via SPD
Image via SPD

6. Psychiatric Service Dogs

Psychiatric Service Dogs provide a variety of services for those suffering from mental illness. They are often integral in changing the lives of people such as returned veterans and others with psychiatric disabilities. Check out The Lola Project for more info here.

Image via The Lola Project Facebook
Image via The Lola Project Facebook

7. Medical Alert Dogs

From being able to alert their owners to oncoming seizures, to lowered blood sugar levels in those with diabetes, to detecting cancer, Medical Alert dogs use their amazing sense of smell and natural instincts to detect when something is wrong with their human’s body.

Image via Medical Detection Dogs
Image via Medical Detection Dogs

Featured Image via Vet Street

h/t to Anything Pawsable, Service Dog Central, and Labs 2 Love Rescue

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Written by: Marissa Rubenstein

November 20, 2014

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