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Guide and Service Dogs

The VA does support guide and service dogs for Veterans. Veterans approved for service dogs are referred to Assistance Dogs International-accredited agencies. There is no charge for the dog or the associated training.

 

This FAQ is from the VA website at http://www1.va.gov/health/ServiceandGuideDogs.asp

 

 

Guide Dogs

 

What are guide dogs?

Guide dogs are trained to lead the blind or vision impaired. The dog acts as a pilot to direct its owner in a straight line unless directed to turn, while avoiding obstacles in all directions.

 

How do I get a guide dog?

Blind Veterans are assessed and trained for orientation and mobility. If a guide dog is preferred, information on how to contact guide dog schools is provided. Partnership with the guide dog is provided through non-VA affiliated guide dog schools.

 

What benefits does VA provide?

Blind Veterans with working dogs are provided veterinary care and equipment through VA Prosthetics and Sensory Aids. VA does not pay for boarding, grooming, food, or any other routine expense associated with owning a dog.

 

Guide Dog

 

Service Dogs

 

What are service dogs?

A service dog is trained to help those with disabilities other than visual or hearing impairment. Service dogs typically perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a physical or hearing disability.

 

How do I get a service dog?

Each Veteran's case is reviewed and evaluated by a prescribing clinician for the following:

 

  • Ability and means, including family or caregiver, to care for the dog currently and in the future
  • Goals that are to accomplished through the use of the dog
  • Goals that are to be accomplished through other assistive technology or therapy

 

The Veteran will be informed of an approval or disapproval of their service dog request. Veterans approved for service dogs are referred to Assistance Dogs International-accredited agencies. There is no charge for the dog or the associated training.

 

Service Dog

 

What benefits does VA provide?

Veterans with working service dogs are provided veterinary care and equipment through VA Prosthetics and Sensory Aids. VA does not pay for boarding, grooming, food, or any other routine expense associated with owning a dog.

 

Related Resources

 

 

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Date Posted: July 2010