Mobility Assistance Service Dogs for People Using a Wheelchair

Mobility assistance service dog

Mobility assistance service dogs are more than just man's best friend. To honor this year's International Assistance Dog Week which was at the beginning of this month, we would like to discuss this very relevant topic. From their early "childhood" puppies are "wired" to give us unconditional love and loyalty, but service dogs are trained professionals who are meant to assist totally disabled or physically limited human companions. They are trained to do a huge specter of basic tasks for those who have suffered a spinal cord injury or are coping with some other type of condition. 

These tasks include pushing buttons on doors, getting items for their owners, picking up something their owner has dropped on the ground, but they may learn some other more specific tasks as well. There are dogs that can push their owner's wheelchair up a wheelchair ramp, open and close doors, turning the lights on and off, and much more. What drives these dogs to bring on their A-game is verbal encouragement as well as rewards. These rewards can be simple treats just to show your pup your appreciation and associate their well-done job with positive behavior. Of course, the mutual bond between the dog and its owner is the foundation of the relationship's strength. With real dedication, there is no limit to what these two can accomplish.


What is the best service dog for a person in a wheelchair?

Larger breeds of dogs are normally recommended by professionals due to the nature of the tasks the dog would have to perform. If you need your mobility assistance service dog to occasionally push your wheelchair, a small dog wouldn't be able to do the job. Another thing a service dog should be able to do is to adjust their owner's position in the wheelchair like placing their arm back onto the armrest after it has fallen. The dog needs to be able to carry grocery bags or other things such as a bottle of water. Helping to remove and put on clothing is just another task these dogs can perform such as helping with socks, shoes, pants, coats, etc.

These dogs are also helpful around the house. They can help people in wheelchairs do their laundry by loading and unloading the washing machine, reaching high corners and helping their owner get from point A to point B. 

While large dog breeds can make fantastic support animals, smaller dog breeds are often seen as perfect for emotional support. They can help you feel more confident and emotionally stronger, their presence brings positivity and several studies have shown that cuddling with your pet can induce serotonin creation.

Mobility assistance service dogs are some of the most rewarding companions one can get, but that doesn't mean that this process is easy. On the contrary, it may take a long time for the connection to form a bond. To make sure you are choosing the right type of dog personality-wise and training-wise, please contact a local trainer for further information.


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More information

Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).