The Department of Veterans Affairs is piloting a program to provide veterinary health benefits to veterans who use service dogs, the official VA blog says.
Service dogs help veterans with a variety of disabilities, including seeing and hearing impairments, difficultly moving, mental health issues, and more.
The VA currently extends veterinary health benefits to more than 600 veterans who use service dogs to help them navigate their disabilities.
Service dogs help improve the lives of veterans who have had difficulty responding to other treatment methods. These support animals have proven to be an extremely fruitful method, particularly for veterans with limitations from mental health issues.
The pilot program, which is run by the Veterans Health Administration’s Center for Compassionate Innovation, offers veterinary health and wellness needs for canines to optimally support veterans. These benefits include wellness visits, medication, dental care, travel for training sessions, and equipment such as harnesses.
The VA itself does not provide service, support, or guide dogs to veterans, but this program does help support the veterans who have determined a canine is a helpful source of therapy and assistance.
This program is aimed at veterans’ whose conditions have significantly impaired their mobility.
For more information please visit http://www.prosthetics.va.gov/ServiceAndGuideDogs.asp