- What Are Service Dogs For?
- The Training Process
- Kinds Of Service Animals
- Psychiatric Service Dogs
- Service Dog For PTSD
- Service Dog For Anxiety
- Animals For Mental Illness
- Other Functions Of An Emotional Support Animal
- Service Dogs Rights
- Special Care For Service Animals
- Supplies For Service Animals
- Who Can Qualify For A Psychiatric Service Dog?
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An emotional support dog and a psychiatric service dog succor human beings to overcome various psychic dysfunctions. Although these inabilities are not as obvious as physical ones, they also make life much more difficult for those who suffer from them.
One of the ways of therapy for such disorders is to get a service dog. The article is prepared by My Service Animal Service Dog Registrar.
What Are Service Dogs For?
The main mission of any service animal is to facilitate the life of people with disabilities. Besides the skills necessary for meeting the disability-related needs of the owner, animals are also trained to do work and complete basic household assignments.
Other functions of helper animals vary depending on the demands of the individual. If we are talking about dogs, the breed also plays an important role. Some breeds, especially those artificially bred, are tamed much easier, therefore they are more often used as service dogs.
The Training Process
It takes up to a couple of years to discipline a service animal. Initially, all dogs are educated in the same way, without taking into consideration the type of attendance that the animal will give to a person with a disability.
Firstly, the animal is taught subordination and behavior in society. Further, the dog is taught to fulfill commands and primary household tasks.
The next stages of coaching depend on the purpose of the service dog. Service pups are taught to complete assignments related to the person’s inability.
Animals are peculiarly trained for people with emotional, physical, or mental dysfunctions.
The future owner of the dog is ordinarily involved in the final stage of tuition. It ordinarily takes up to 2 weeks. During this period of time, the animal is adjusted to the identity distress of a single human.
Furthermore, the acquaintance of the animal and its future owner should take place under the oversight of specialists.
Kinds Of Service Animals
The most widespread category of service animals is the one that looks after humans with physical and sensory inabilities.
Service dogs are skilled as guides or alerts for men with blindness and deafness. Guide dogs are actually one of the most familiar classes of helper animals.
Another kind of assistance animal that is now gaining popularity is psychiatric service one, for instance, service dog for anxiety.
Psychiatric service dogs are usually attached to fellows, notably veterans, with serious mental disorders like PTSD or social and anti-social disorders.
They can also be helpful for patients with autism. Furthermore, there are emotional support animals (ESA) that are not assorted as helper ones but can grant a psychological endorsement for those who need it.
Psychiatric Service Dogs
A psychiatric service dog is a distinctive group of helper animals. It is trained to perform specific tasks for humans with various mental illnesses and dysfunctions.
Mental health conditions in which the dog plays an important role in the therapy of its owner include obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and bipolar disorder.
Moreover, such a dog is often assigned to people with social and anti-social disorders like sociopathy and social phobia.
Animals contribute to the development of communication skills in the owner and make him or her more outgoing and sociable.
One more psychic illness in the treatment of which service dogs are used is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This disturbance is commonly spread among veterans.
Therefore, psychiatric service dogs have become extremely popular among those who served in the U.S. Army.
Service Dog For PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychical trauma that often develops in humans who have experienced any kind of violence.
This illness is accompanied by various symptoms that significantly worsen a patient’s life.
Due to the fact that the military is forced to observe violence throughout their service, particularly during the war, they are more inclined to the development of PTSD.
Consequently, it is veterans who are the main target audience of a psychiatric service dog.
A service dog is one of the possible options for the therapy of PTSD that is usually offered to veterans. The dog gradually increases the level of confidence, safeness, and security every day.
A service dog promotes the safe socialization of its owner, defending him or her from strangers but at the same time making him or her more companionable and genial.
Service dogs succor their handlers to overcome accompanying phobias and fears such as fear of the darkness, loud noises, or loneliness.
What is more important is that a service dog can be taught to wake its owner up when he or she has a nightmare.
In such cases, a service dog acts as a spiritual reliance for the veteran, thanks to which the man regains consciousness and calms down much faster.
Another advantage of PTSD service dogs is that they assist the handler during panic and anxiety attacks.
Panic attacks and especially anxiety are disorders that very often appear because of PTSD. That’s why there is even a special type of service dog called anxiety service dog.
Service Dog For Anxiety
If you have a high level of social anxiety stated by your therapist, one of the ways to get rid of this disturbance can be an anxiety service dog.
This animal can be taught to identify the attack before it happens, bring medications, soothe the symptoms.
Another way to treat anxiety disorders is to take daily walks. At the same time, walking the service dog is much more pleasant and, most importantly, safer.
First, the animal will protect its owner from strangers. Secondly, if a person has an anxiety attack while walking, a helper dog will succor to get home or wait out the attack safely.
Animals For Mental Illness
It’s no secret that autism spectrum disorder is a sufficiently spread condition among children. This disorder causes a lot of inconveniences for those who suffer from it.
First of all, autistic individuals are a fairly vulnerable category of society because such people cannot concentrate for a long time and also read the emotions of others poorly.
That’s why psychiatric service dogs are primarily essential for the safety and defending of autistic humans. Also, dogs supply solace by removing the feeling of social isolation and calming an owner in stressful situations.
Therapy dog for autism promotes the reduction of visible manifestations of frustration.
Other Functions Of An Emotional Support Animal
ESAs are commonly used to fight loneliness and depression. It is scientifically proven that a dog can improve the mood of everyone who lives nearby, and an emotional support dog is even more productive in this.
The owner of an ESA becomes more extroverted and outgoing. The service dog raises the level of self-confidence and a sense of security by “covering the rear” of its handler.
Service Dogs Rights
The freedoms of service dogs are extended compared to regular pets. A service dog has public access to any place where its owner goes.
Also, service dogs enjoy special privileges in the housing files. And what is even more interesting, these animals can travel with their handler in the aircraft cockpit.
Special Care For Service Animals
Service dogs, like other service animals, do not need any exclusive solicitude. In fact, they are even more independent than pets and do not impose on their owner any difficult duties or restrictions.
It is substantial to walk your dog regularly twice a day. Also, the animal needs to be fed with food intended for a particular breed. If there is a need for additional animal care, you will be advised at the training center before you take the animal home.
Supplies For Service Animals
First of all, you will need a vest and harness for your service dog. A vest is needed primarily to keep the dog comfortable and warm.
But it also has special pockets in which you can put documents or medicines. Also, you will definitely need a collar and possibly a hands-free leash. A special harness is needed for dogs who help individuals with mobility issues.
If you are going to travel by air with a service animal, you definitely need a harness, leash, and for some airlines even a muzzle. Besides, you have to think about a special kennel for the animal in advance.
Who Can Qualify For A Psychiatric Service Dog?
First of all, the right to a service dog is reserved for veterans who, after their return, have physical or psychological disabilities that cause inconvenience and restrict their livelihoods.
Doctors and social workers suggest the veterans getting a dog in the first weeks after returning home in order to simplify and speed up the adaptation period as much as possible.
Except for veterans, individuals with inabilities are eligible for an assistance animal if their dysfunctions prevent them from satisfying their basic needs on their own or from performing their work or task.
To qualify for a service dog a person should have a note from the therapist or licensed mental health professional that states the diagnosis.
Then you have to fill out the form to apply for a service animal. You have to attach to the application all the medical documentation, confirming the obligatoriness for a dog.
If you need any extra information, help with the registration of a service animal or advice in choosing requisite equipment, you can get all of these on the website My Service Animal.
Qualified specialists are always happy to help you and answer all your questions.