Veterans with disabilities who are in need of guide dogs or service dogs can get help through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Service dogs are trained to perform tasks for a person with a physical disability. Dogs are traditionally trained as guides for people who are blind or visually impaired, but service dogs are also trained to help people without vision impairments.
Disabled veterans who may benefit from a service dog are assessed by the VA. Blind and hearing-impaired veterans who want a guide dog are put in touch with independent guide dog schools. All other disability cases are evaluated to determine the goals to be accomplished through the use of a service dog and to establish that the veteran has the ability and means to care for the dog.
In every case, the VA provides veterinary care and equipment through its Prosthetics and Sensory Aids program. However, the VA does not pay for food, boarding, grooming or other routine expenses associated with owning a dog.