Service Dogs can be a game changer for people managing sleep apnea and vertigo — two medical conditions that can cause significant disruption to a person’s daily life.


Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by the cessation of breathing during sleep. In contrast, vertigo is a sensation of dizziness or spinning, often caused by issues with the inner ear. Both conditions can lead to serious health complications, making it crucial for sufferers to find effective ways to manage their symptoms.


Specially-trained Service Dogs play a critical role in assisting those with sleep apnea and vertigo. Their keen senses and training allow them to detect symptoms and offer help, making life significantly more accessible and safer for their handlers. Continue reading to learn more about how Service Dogs help people with sleep apnea and vertigo.


Sleep Apnea: How Service Dogs Make a Difference


Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder causing repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep, resulting in poor-quality sleep and daytime fatigue. Service Dogs can be trained to help people with sleep apnea in several ways.


  • Monitoring Breathing


Service Dogs can be trained to monitor their handler’s breathing during sleep. If the handler stops breathing or exhibits irregular breathing patterns, the dog can nudge or paw them to stimulate breathing.

  • Positional Therapy


People with sleep apnea often benefit from sleeping in specific positions that help keep their airways open. Service Dogs can be trained to help their handlers maintain these positions during sleep.

  • Emotional Support


Sleep apnea can cause anxiety and depression due to chronic fatigue, and a decreased quality of life. A Service Dog can provide emotional support and companionship, helping alleviate these feelings.


Vertigo: The Supportive Role of Service Dogs


Vertigo is a sensation of spinning or dizziness that can be caused by various conditions, including inner ear disorders and brain-related issues. Service Dogs can provide support to individuals with vertigo by:


  • Providing Mobility Assistance


When experiencing vertigo, a person may have difficulty with balance and mobility. A Service Dog can act as a brace for their handler, helping them maintain balance and navigate them so they’re safe.


  • Retrieving Objects


Vertigo can make picking up objects from the floor or reaching for items on high shelves challenging. However, Service Dogs can be trained to retrieve items for their handlers, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.


  • Alerting to Changes in Symptoms


Service Dogs can be trained to detect changes in their handler’s symptoms, like an increase in dizziness or loss of balance. In these situations, the dog can alert their handler, allowing them to take appropriate action to manage their symptoms.


In addition to the practical benefits of Service Dogs for people with sleep apnea and vertigo, these animals can also provide emotional support and companionship. The bond that develops between a handler and their Service Dog can be instrumental in fostering a sense of well-being and improving overall mental health.


How To Obtain a Service Dog 


Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities (ECAD) breed Service Dogs and train them as puppies. By the time they’re nine months, they know several commands. They then undergo extensive training for 18 to 24 months before they are matched with someone. 

Each person's final training is individualized once a potential match has been identified. When a client arrives for team training, the dog has had up to 1,500 hours of training and socialization. If you or a loved one has vertigo or sleep apnea, contact Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities to learn more or apply for a Service Dog.


Help Us Transform the Lives of People Living With Vertigo or Sleep Apnea (and Other Disabilities)


Service Dogs can significantly impact the lives of people living with sleep apnea or vertigo. From physical assistance to emotional support, they can provide the help needed to live independently and confidently. Having a Service Dog by your side means you can enjoy a better quality of life. 


Everyone can take part in helping people with disabilities with Service Dogs. Support us with a donation, bequest, planned giving, contributions to our wish list, or create a fundraiser. Your support can change someone’s life.