The Pros & Cons of a Hearing Dog
IHDI and over 1,400 clients can testify that hearing dogs are amazing animals that can transform lives. Understandably, it is tempting to start the process of getting one. But we encourage you to spend some time considering the many ways that being partnered with a hearing dog would impact your life.
When deciding if a hearing dog is right for you, there are many things to consider, some that you may not have thought about until now. Committing to a hearing dog is a big decision. We fully understand that. That is why IHDI is here to help you explore, depending on your situation, whether a hearing dog is the right choice for you.
The first thing to understand is that while a hearing dog can provide life-altering service that improves your life on many levels, having a hearing dog also involves extensive time, commitments, and challenges.
Possible 'Pros' of having a service dog*
- Greater independence, safety, and security
- A best friend who accepts you unconditionally
- New possibilities – a service dog can open up opportunities for you that you might not otherwise be able to do on your own
- Can help you meet new people and interact with them
- Will help you be more active as the dog requires exercise
- Can help you feel more confident and less vulnerable
- Provides company and affection
Possible 'Cons' of having a service dog*
- Greatly reduced or no alone time
- A significant financial commitment - food, veterinary care, grooming, toys - initially and on an ongoing basis for the life of the dog
- Requires continuous training
- The possibility of negative attention some people may give you because of your hearing dog
- A hearing service dog is still a dog. All dogs, including service hearing dogs, needs a person who will provide food, exercise, mental stimulation, and basic care for them 365 days per year, 7 days per week, 24 hours a day
- Everything takes longer when a dog is accompanying you; therefore; a hearing dog will bring emotional and time demands
- You may encounter challenges with access
*Reference source for listed Pros and Cons