Providing resources and ideas for therapies and medical developments for Parkinson's disease:


Service Animals for Parkinson's Disease:

Service animal is a US Department Of Justice (DOJ) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) designation applied to a dog (or minerature horse) trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a disabled individual (physical or mental impairment which limits one or more significant life activities). It is common to employ their service for the blind but are now being employed to assist those with other disabilities including those with Parkinson's disease. The ADA designation allows the dog to be brought into all public and private facilities where all members of the public are allowed (eg. hotels, restaurants, cafes, parks, shopping centers, museums, theaters, schools, places of worship, government offices, hospitals, etc). The dog must be tethered, leashed or harnessed unless the disability of the person makes them incapable. The animal must be under the control of the disabled handler through voice signals, tether or other effective means of control. If a service dog is excluded, services must be offered to accommodate the disabled person. A request to remove the animal is valid if the animal is out of control, lunges, barks at others or mounts furniture. The ADA does not require the disabled to produce identification or certification for the dog or medical documents or details about their disability. The disabled may be asked if the animal is a "service animal" and the tasks it has been trained for.


Services an animal can provide are:
  • emotional support and companionship
  • help maintain a walking rate of speed or gait
  • prevent freezing by pulling gently on the walker
  • pull a wheelchair
  • help promote exercise and daily walks
  • if equipped with a harness (shoulder mounted, not back), can provide stability to prevent falls
  • get help after a fall
  • aid with manual tasks like removal of socks, picking up items, retrieve the morning newspaper, retrieve hard to reach items, open doors or turn on lights

Note that "emotional support dogs" and "therapy dogs" are not "service dogs" as viewed by the ADA and do not have the public access rights of a service dog.

Range of animal support services:

Mobility and balance:

Service Dog Resources:

Parkinson's Service Dog Training Vendors:

Medical Services:

Dogs in this category provide medical staff with diagnostic services. Some dogs have the ability to smell Parkinson's disease and can provide an early diagnosis before symptoms occur.

Also see PADs for Parkinson's - program to train dogs to detect an odor associated with Parkinson's disease

BBC: Medical Detection Dogs for early detection
Service dogs

Service dogs

  • Helps Parkinson's patients with mobility issues

  • Parkinson's patients may require assistance caring for the dog. There are additional expenses for veterinary care, grooming, food, bedding, harnesses, training (continuing education and socialization).