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People Adopt Emotional Support Dogs
Several individuals with psychological disabilities now have emotional support dogs. These animals are like those adopted to perform specific tasks. They do more than assist pet owners in daily living. Our four legged-friends help people manage psychological, psychiatric, and emotional issues. It means that their presence provides therapeutic relief. They aid folks in adjusting to persistent and debilitating mental health issues. So it explains why some people with mental illness have canine companions.
This post outlines how people find emotional support dogs for special needs. Take note that not all creatures qualify to help manage mental disorders. Included are also a few of the benefits of adopting one. So read on to get more information on the subject.
What Passes For Emotional Support Dogs
Not all animals are emotional support dogs for PTSD and other mental disabilities. In the case of dogs, only domesticated or manageable ones can belong to this category. They must behave and stay under control at all times, like any other pets in public areas. Also, a licensed mental health practitioner must consider them as such. These animals are “prescribed” creatures to address a diagnosed mental condition. So disciplined and endorsed canines may be emotional support dogs for special needs.
They must be hygienic and caring animals too. Poor hygiene often relates to and encourages isolation. It’s because it results in the presence of parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Unclean pet animals may have undesirable effects on how their owners socialize. Clinicians recommend attentive, sympathetic, and brave creatures too. People with mental disabilities tend to cope well when shown attention and kindness. They may also do well when they have patient and fearless companions who can endure and protect them. For those reasons, groomed and concerned animals are essential for help. Thus specialists check emotional support dogs for elderly folks and others. It requires careful evaluation before folks consider creatures therapy animals.
Who Emotional Support Dogs Aid
There are emotional support dogs for children and adults alike. It’s because even young people can experience behavioral issues. According to a report by CDC, kids suffer from ADHD, anxiety, depression, and more. From 2018 to 2019, some adolescents reported persistent sadness and hopelessness. A few are even suicidal. On the MHA website, 19.86% of adults in 2022 experience mental illness. Hence, it illustrates why emotional support dogs for special needs are in many places. They may visit or stay at medical, geriatric, educational, and hospice facilities. In some cases, folks bring them to disaster areas too.
Animal-assisted therapy in the 1960s showed canines assisting folks with mental impairment. Sometimes, people interact better with dogs than their fellow humans. During and in the aftermath of war, pooches also play a crucial role in mental health. For instance, Smoky the Yorkshire Terrier helped folks cope with wartime stress. Hence, it makes sense for emotional support dogs for PTSD to exist.
How Emotional Support Dogs Help
Therapy dogs go with people suffering from emotional disabilities. It’s to help them manage their situation. They come close and provide comfort measures when they sense feelings of unhappiness. Sometimes, they may be playful to encourage activeness. Canines may pull folks away after sensing impending physical and emotional dangers too. Thus emotional support dogs for elderly individuals are available. Many find them useful for their attentiveness and intuition.
They are also there to let folks overcome loneliness and isolation. Pets often don’t want to feel lonely and interact with humans to overcome boredom. Plus, like other canines, therapy dogs want to please their masters. They make sure their handlers are in good physical and mental condition. Still, being around them lowers anxiety and depression in different ways. A dog can be playful and make sad people feel alert, engaged, and lively. It can detect mood shifts and come closer to divert a person’s attention to them or something else. Plus, our four-legged friends may also encourage social interaction. Many young and old dog lovers go near canines that they find cute. Hence, emotional support dogs for children and seniors are around.
Why Are Therapy Dogs Different
Emotional support dogs don’t call for formal training. But, compared to service animals, they can have “reasonable accommodation” only. It’s possible through the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act. Landlords must allow pet owners who have them for emotional support. Discrimination of disabled individuals may not happen because of it. Also, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 has a similar point. It prohibits discrimination of a disability and allows accommodation for a therapy dog. Service dogs can go with disabled people in state and local public areas. It’s because the Americans with Disabilities Act allows it. So therapy dogs have limitations in where they can go. But they can visit some locations and stay there for a while.
Compared to other canines, these are caring emotional support dogs for special needs. They escort, visit, and provide companionship to humans. Unlike their peers, they focus more on catering to people than themselves. Thus it isn’t difficult for them to focus and for their presence to be therapeutic. They go beyond pleasing their handlers too. Long-term care facilities get occasional and frequent visits from these animals too. Emotional support dogs for children and other patients cater to individuals and groups. They interact with them one at a time, and they likewise give genuine care and concern.
Living and Traveling With Emotional Support Pets
Service or certified canines are often intelligent and very obedient. They underwent weeks of training to get specific commands right every time. Plus, they help folks perform daily tasks they find challenging due to disabilities. Emotional support animals don’t have to have rigorous training and education. But they provide help to address psychiatric and psychological concerns. They often don’t wait for commands to care for people with mental disabilities. Handlers and others consider them helpful due to their initiative. They sense and respond to human stress by being present beside people. These canines let people pat, caress, and hug them. Some dogs even interact with people talking to them by making sounds to show they are responsive.
But, when traveling, some spots may ask for documents. It’s to allow accommodation or passage. Unlike service dogs, animals for emotional support have some limitations. It’s why handlers of such pets secure an ESA letter before they leave. With this paper, people can show they have a diagnosis that requires an animal companion to cope. Consulting with a licensed mental health practitioner is crucial to get it. It means you need to visit a psychiatrist or psychologist to have it. Going to a professional counselor, social worker, or other therapists may also work. The letter must have the LMHP’s name, letterhead, license details, and signature. Proof of a health condition must be present too. So traveling with emotional support dogs for special needs has its requirements.
When People Need Therapy Dogs
Emotional support dogs are ideal for those who need them the most. They are often best for individuals who find it difficult to cope with stress alone. Some folks can recover from overbearing feelings when they experience companionship. People who cannot connect well with their fellow humans may also find relief in such dogs. As social beings, men and women must connect with others. Still, these therapeutic animals are convenient for overcoming powerful emotions. They are beneficial for people with constant and intense impulsiveness and phobias. It’s the same for those who suffer from severe anxiety and depression. So their presence can cater to small children, adolescents, middle-aged people, and seniors.
Unfit and withdrawn individuals due to past trauma can enjoy having dogs around. These folks can appreciate the company of emotional support dogs for PTSD. When these animals are present, panic attacks and other symptoms may become manageable. Even if dogs can’t read thoughts, they can sense when people feel bad. They will make themselves available to distract folks from intrusive thoughts and images. Their availability helps remind PTSD patients of reality and the present. So there’s no perfect time to need emotional support dogs for special needs. Yet the sight of them alone may help folks manage mild to severe mental disability symptoms.
Even though emotional support dogs aid many, they may not be the best for everyone. Some people need pharmaceutical intervention or physical therapy to recover from their ailment. Others are afraid of canines and may not attempt to interact with them. Hence, before bringing emotional support dogs for elderly patients, consider these ideas.
Consider the age and capability of a person before recommending a therapy dog. Not all people have the inclination nor skill set to take care of a canine. Some are too young, while others are too old for pet care. Remember that a dog requires adequate care and sustenance. Other than accommodation, it needs to have enough calories and spaced meals. Still, a dog requires other responsibilities such as grooming, cleaning, and training. Thus those who wish to have them as companions can take advantage of these support dogs.
With That Said
Emotional support dogs give comfort and go with people. They are loving and adorable creatures that can aid folks who need help the most. Anyone who finds it difficult to cope with behavioral issues can adopt one. They do not belong to service dogs but help people with mental ailments. Thus these emotional support animals make quality lifetime companions. Due to certain laws, they can stay and even travel with their owners. So anyone with recurrent problems with their behavior, feelings, and mood may get one.
We hope this article gave a clear picture of what emotional support dogs are. They are more than animal companions who can board airplanes with pet owners. They give emotional relief and help cope with health issues. If you have experience with these pets or have ideas to share, please send us comments. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you in our next post.