How To Get A Service Dog For Anxiety
Did you know that there are about 500,000 service dogs in the United States helping people?
It’s no surprise that with so many service dogs helping others they truly can help. After all, there wouldn’t be so many in service if it didn’t work.
Have you been considering getting a service dog but aren’t sure how to go about it? Keep reading to learn more about how to get a service dog for anxiety to help you when you need it most.
How to Get a Service Dog for Anxiety
Before diving into getting a service dog for anxiety lets chat about what exactly is a service dog. These dogs are companions that help people that have a disability. Most people are familiar with service dogs for people with a hearing or a visual impairment but don’t realize that there are service dogs for many other disabilities.
There are people who have a service dog for less noticeable things such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and diabetes. These dogs are not your average household pet. They are trained to perform certain tasks to help their owners in their daily lives.
Meeting the Criteria
The first thing you will have to do is meet the criteria to be eligible for a service dog. This means your anxiety has to be debilitating meaning you can’t go through living your daily life easily.
You will also have to be able to participate in the dog’s training process and be able to command and care for your service dog. This means that you will need to have a stable home environment.
Psychiatric Service Dog
A psychiatric service dog is able to help people that have a mental health condition such as depression and anxiety. They help them get through their day to day lives without allowing their condition to come in between.
In order to apply for a psychiatric service dog, you will need to have a recommendation from a medical doctor or from a licensed mental health professional. The anxiety has to be severe or debilitating in order to qualify for a service dog.
If your anxiety isn’t as debilitating you can look into getting an emotional support animal instead. These unlike service dogs can be any type of domestic animal that serves as a comforting companion. Keep in mind that an emotional support animal isn’t trained to help if you’re suffering from an anxiety attack.
How Will a Psychiatric Service Dog Help?
A psychiatric service dog is able to help someone with anxiety by bringing medication or even water during an anxiety attack. They can also help by bringing over the phone if you’re having an anxiety attack. Then you can call either your support system or your therapist.
These service dogs are also trained to create a calming effect during stressful times by applying the right amount of pressure on your chest or abdomen area. During an attack or if you’re suffering from emotional overload they are trained to give tactile stimulation. This can include things like licking your face or your arm.
Finding the Perfect Service Dog
Once you decide that you will benefit from having a dog for your anxiety it’s time to find the perfect one for you and your needs. It’s important to buy your service dog from someone that is trustworthy and reputable.
If you’re looking for a service dog that’s already trained it’s even more important to find a seller you can trust. Asking for referrals is a great way to find your companion. You can learn more here about how to find a seller you can trust and that you won’t be scammed out of your hard earned money.
Long Road Ahead
Usually training a service dog can take years and getting a service dog is can be a long road if you decide to train the dog yourself. If your anxiety is extremely high then choosing to have a service dog organization train your dog is the best option.
Keep in mind that legally there is nothing that says that you have to have your service dog professionally trained. But if you don’t know much about training a dog then calling in the pros might be your best bet.
Choosing a professional will save you time and will also mean that your service dog will be able to care for you with exactly what you need for your health.
Training a dog can take up to two years doing it yourself but with the right breed and following the guidelines to train the dog it is possible to do it yourself.
The last thing you will want to take into consideration when getting a service dog is how much you should expect to pay. The first fee you should expect to pay is the adoption fee and this will vary depending on the dog breed you choose. It can range anywhere from $200 to $1,000.
The second fee you will be paying for is the dogs training if you choose to have a professional service dog organization train your new companion. If you choose to train your dog yourself then you will save on this cost but it can cause anxiety all it’s own.
Now that you have knowledge on how to get a service dog for anxiety and how to look for the perfect dog for you it’s time to apply, get approved and start your search.
Your service dog will end up being your loyal companion their entire lives to ensure that you’re able to get through life on a daily basis.
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