3 Signs That You Should Get a Service Dog
Pets provide more than just a friendly face to the household. For most pet owners, animals give love and support whenever it’s needed. Still, some people require more help than others. In that case, you should consider an emotional support animal, therapy animal, or service dog. Service animals like these help people suffering from mental, physical, sensory, or cognitive issues. If this sounds like you, here are three signs that you should get a service dog.
You Need Emotional Support
There are many different types of service dogs to consider. Those who need emotional or psychiatric help should consider an emotional support animal or ESA. Emotional support animals don’t require any specialized training. If you’re not a dog person, you can find other emotional support animals, like cats. Emotional support animals are best for those suffering from PTSD or other major mental health illnesses who need extra support for guidance and care. ESAs are also great companion pets for seniors to help curb loneliness and depression.
You Have Physical or Developmental Disabilities
Service dogs are also exceptional support animals for those with physical, development, or cognitive disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures the right to own a service dog for physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or mental disabilities. Unlike emotional support animals, only dogs can serve as service animals. Your health care provider can document your dog as a service dog. However, it is imperative you find a service dog trained with that care in mind. There are many support groups and shelters with pre-trained service dogs ready for adoption.
Therapy animals are another consideration. If your therapist recommends animal-based therapy, that’s a sign that you should get a service dog. Therapy animals help patients in hospitals, home health, or even farms. Therapy dogs provide comfort and support for those who need it. Still, unlike emotional support dogs, typically, therapy dogs are handled by professionals. Like service dogs, these animals are trained to interact with people to help deal with their respective therapeutic treatments.
These are just some of the common reasons people get service dogs. If you require mental or physical support through an ESA or service dog, talk to your health care professional. They’ll guide you on the proper documentation and procedure to acquire your service animal as soon as possible. Then, you can receive the care and support the animal provides.