Service and Guide Dogs To support an independent and active lifestyle, the VA provides benefits for guide and service dogs. A guide dog provides assistance for the blind. A service dog assists those with hearing or physical impairments. Veterans enrolled in VA health care may qualify for a service or guide dog. The veteran will be referred to a specialist by the primary care provider. A comprehensive clinical evaluation will be carried out by a VA medical team and will determine how the veteran can best be assisted. Each request for a service or guide dog will be evaluated and reviewed on a case by case basis. Guide and service dogs are not provided by the VA. Rather, the VA coordinates with accredited non-VA agencies that provide guide and service dogs. As soon as the Veteran achieves proficiency in using the guide or service dog, the dog will become the property of the Veteran. In addition to veterinary care for guide and service dogs, the VA provides equipment through VA Prosthetics and Sensory Aids. The VA does not pay for the dogs expenses relating to food, grooming, boarding or other relevant costs.