Should You Get an Emotional Support Dog?

in Overall Health by

Emotional support dogs are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to treat a number of emotional challenges such as anxiety, panic attacks, and social disorders. Getting an emotional support animal is easier than ever, and they can make life easier for those who need extra help in their daily lives. If you’re wondering whether an emotional support dog is right for you, keep reading to learn more!

What are the benefits of an emotional support dog?

Dogs have long been man’s best friend. Recent studies show that dogs can ease stress, relieve loneliness, and even lower blood pressure in many patients. They can even lead to healthier life choices like eating better foods and exercising more frequently. Emotional support dogs generally accompany the person suffering from an emotional issue in their everyday life.

Official emotional support animals have undergone rigorous training and have a special certification that allows them to enter places where pets are usually not allowed, such as hotels and restaurants. Having a furry friend who loves you unconditionally can make life an overall much more pleasant experience, and it might even inspire you to press the boundaries on your comfort zone since you don’t have to face new experiences alone.

How do I qualify for an emotional support dog?

Not all dogs can qualify as emotional support dogs, and not all people will qualify for emotional support dogs. You need to have a diagnosed emotional disability in order to legally qualify for an emotional support dog. Your diagnosis can come from a certified health professional such as a psychologist, therapist, or other licensed mental health professional. Note that your family physician cannot provide this verification, and it must be through a certified mental health specialist.

This certification is usually completed in the form of an ESA letter. The types of emotional disorders that qualify for an emotional support dog are things like learning disorders, ADD, motor skill disorders, or severe anxiety. If you’re unsure whether or not you qualify for an emotional support dog, speak with a specialist who can assess your unique situation.

Emotional support dogs undergo an intense training to make sure they’re prepared to handle any situation. While they are not trained to perform a service like medical service dogs, they need to be conditioned to not cause any disturbance or hardship. These dogs generally have calm natural temperaments and are not reactive to other people or animals. A qualified dog trainer would be able to assist with preparing your pet or with finding an ideal emotional support dog.

How do I get an emotional support dog?

If you’ve decided an emotional support dog is right for you and you have been officially diagnosed by a mental health professional, you are able to obtain proper certification for your pet. You will need a certified letter from your health provider which includes your mental health professional’s official letterhead with a license type and a number as well as your clear diagnosis and his or her recommendation.

You have up to a year after obtaining the letter to get your official certification. ESA dog letters will permit you to bring your emotional support dog with you wherever you go without running into problems. This process is easy to navigate if you think this is the right treatment plan for your emotional disorder.

Emotional Support Dogs

Emotional support dogs are proven to have a positive effect on those suffering from conditions like anxiety, bipolar disorder, or other mental health problems. If you think you could benefit from an emotional support dog, speak to a mental health specialist about the best way to go about obtaining your certification.

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