Anxiety? Depression? Animals have been known to improve emotional health. Learn all you need to know about how to get a service dog in this guide.
People suffer from a wide variety of mental issues that we are still attempting to understand today. These are ailments that we cannot see that nonetheless impact the mind and the wellbeing of the person afflicted.
Improving a person’s emotional and mental health is tricky, and is in some ways more difficult than a physical medical procedure. Some doctors recommend animal companions, like service dogs, for those suffering. These animals have been known to help improve mental health issues.
Do you know how to get a service dog for emotional support? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know about the process.
Why An Emotional Service Dog?
Service dogs are well-trained pooches who are enlisted to help humans struggling with physical disorders, like blindness, or mental disorders like high-anxiety or depression. You may have even seen service dogs out at work in your city, maybe walking the hard of seeing across the street or keeping company with a PTSD-inflicted veteran.
The companionship and physical aid these amazing animals provide are unbelievable.
In order for a dog to become a service dog, they must be trained extensively. Those dogs that do complete this specialized training become recognized by the ADA or the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Dogs trained for phycological support can carry out a variety of tasks. They are trained in being able to recognize an anxiety attack before it happens and can fetch water or bring another person if their owner is in distress.
They can also work to calm a person down or distract them during such an attack, by licking their face and hands and showing them love.
Even outside of high-stress situations, keeping a service dog around can provide a wealth of benefits to a person who is suffering. Dog ownership requires exercise, time spent outdoors, and a sense of responsibility. All of these serve to counteract the impact of anxiety and depression.
Having a dog at one’s side can also help to decrease loneliness and isolation, and help a person feel more open to the world.
How To Get A Service Dog
There are many specialist organizations out there that provide a person with a service dog. A person with a physical disability or an express note for a doctor suggesting a need for a service animal should be able to work through the process to get one.
A person must have a stable enough home environment and show proof that they’ll be able to take care of the animal before an organization will allow them to take a dog home. Getting a licensed service animal can be a difficult process, and a person has to go through many different steps of approval.
People who suffer from anxiety that isn’t completely demobilizing might not qualify for a service dog. Only a fraction of people who suffer from mental health disorders end up with a truly specialized canine companion.
Training these dogs is complicated and expensive, and most organizations will only do it for those who truly might not be able to live without this assistance.
The Cost of a Service DogAs mentioned, the training, dog food, and upkeep of a true service dog can be quite expensive. Most dog training organizations spend somewhere between $30 and $50 thousand dollars per dog, as these dogs go through hundreds of hours of training.
However, the entirety of this cost is not passed to the individuals who are suffering. Many of these service dog organizations make their money through fundraising and grants. Thus, individuals are able to get dogs at a fraction of this price depending on the specifics of their own financial situation.
Emotional Support Animals
Only a small number of people who apply will receive a service dog from a specialized organization. That doesn’t mean an individual has to go without canine companionship, however. Owning a dog or any pet can be a huge help to anyone dealing with mental anxiety issues or other disorders.
There are many different adoption centers worth looking into online, and you can view here for more places to find great dogs.
Many people still get their animals certified as emotional support animals, which is different than a true service dog. A service dog is highly trained and can perform specific tasks. An emotional support animal is a companion and pet, just like the one that you might already own.
An emotional support animal does not have the same legal rights and protections as service animals. However, they are often allowed into places normally aren’t, such as into classrooms or onto planes.
Those who think that they might need an emotional support animal will still need to receive approval in writing from a medical professional. They can then go to adopt an animal or see if an existing pet can get certified.
Certifying an existing pet as an emotional support animal still requires a number of steps and some degree of training, but it less rigorous than the process for true service animals. It is not impossible to get your current canine set up as an emotional support animal if it is something you desired.
How To Get A Service Dog
If you want to know how to get a service dog, the above information can be very helpful. There’s a lot to know about these wonderful canines, and it can be possible to obtain their help if you truly need it.
Need more information on pets and animals? Check out our blog for more.
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