What is Service Animal?

Category: Lifestyle Modifications


A service animal can be a guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.

Reported purpose & perceived effectiveness
Purpose Patients Evaluations Perceived Effectiveness
Anxious mood 17 7
Post-traumatic stress disorder 15 8
Depressed mood 13 7
Improve mobility 3 0
Major depressive disorder 3 1
Balance problems 2 2

Show all 41 reasons taken

  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell

Side effects

Side effects as an overall problem

Side effects as an overall problem
Severity Evaluations Percentage
Severe 0
Moderate 0
Mild 1
None 12

Commonly reported side effects and conditions associated with Service Animal

Side effect Patients Percentage
Rotator cuff pain 1


Based on patients currently using Service Animal

Dosage Patients Percentage
daily 5
as needed 1


Currently using Service Animal

Duration Patients Percentage
2 - 5 years 4
5 - 10 years 3
Adherence Evaluations Percentage
Always 12
Usually 1
Sometimes 0
Never taken as prescribed 0
Burden Evaluations Percentage
Very hard to take 0
Somewhat hard to take 2
A little hard to take 3
Not at all hard to take 8
Cost per month
Cost per month Evaluations Percentage
$200+ 3
$100-199 1
$50-99 1
$25-49 1
< $25 0
Not specified 7
Last updated:

1 patient evaluation for Service Animal

Jan 20, 2020 (Started Jun 30, 2016)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for autism spectrum disorder)
  • Side effects
  • Adherence
  • Burden
    A little hard to take
Dosage: Daily
Advice & Tips: Having a service dog requires both work and money. Howie must be fed, provided with fresh water, taken for walks, played with and provided with toys, brushed and kept clean, given his medication (for allergies, including immunotherapy), provided with on-going training, kept current on immunizations/vaccines, have his nails trimmed regularly, protected from the weather, have regular healthcare visits with his veterinarian. It is a lot of work and it can be expensive. One must also be very knowledgeable about local, state, and federal laws and regulations for service animals and be prepared for discrimination because of the service animal. People do not know the law. This can include those who should, such as the police. You need to know what to do when you are refused entrance, when service is changed or requirements are made because you have a service dog. When you face discrimination, it may not be in your best interest to call the police. So, you must know what to do and you must know your rights as a person with a disability who is accompanied by a service dog. And PLEASE don't say your pet is a service animal if he or she is not. How do you know? You must have a disability. The dog (or miniature horse) must be individually trained to do a task or tasks that are directly related to your disability and that ameliorate the effects of that disability so you can live a full life. Putting a vest that says "service dog" on your pup doesn't cut it, is very dishonest, and makes it much harder for people who have trained service dogs. This is one reason discrimination occurs - it's a backlash to fake "service animals" who do not behave properly in public...
Cost: $100-199 monthly

Oct 11, 2018 (Started Jun 30, 2016)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for autism spectrum disorder)
  • Side effects
  • Adherence
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: Daily
Advice & Tips: Having a service dog is immeasurably beneficial. The benefits for me include an increased tolerance of social situations and being physically touched, an increase in the ability to handle stress, increased confidence level and the ability to be comfortably "out in the world," the constant companionship of someone who is real, genuine, never plays games, and hasn't ulterior motives, and someone who provides a comforting/calming deep pressure (one of his tasks - "Howie, hug!"). Having a service dog is a constant responsibility. I would very, very highly recommend to someone contemplating getting a service tog to get one that has been fully trained for that purpose. Howie is my third dog, but the only one I got that was already fully trained. I would never again do it any other way. But be forewarned: a trained service dog is extremely expensive. Howie was $16,000. To replace him now would cost me $20,000. To me he is more than worth it. Most people who purchase a service dog must fundraise. But Howie is my life. (And absolutely every expense associated with a service dog is tax-deductible. They are considered medical expenses.)

  • 1 helpful mark
Last updated:
Showing 1 of 1 patient evaluation for Service Animal