Emotional Support Dogs: Keeping Your Helper at Your Side


People with severe depression or anxiety often rely on the love, compassion, and assistance of their dog. Support dogs play an important role in the life of the people they protect and comfort. These are often very obedient, intelligent, and talented creatures that are more like a family member than a pet. Unfortunately, they are still considered to only be pets by the law and are not given the same protections and rights as a service dog. This leaves the humans that rely on them feeling vulnerable and unable to cope emotionally while doing daily tasks. There is no easy solution for this, but there are ways to make it easier to keep a support dog close. 

Learn About Qualifications

Every individual suffering from mental health issues should determine if the dog they have will meet the guidelines of a service dog with the Americans With Disabilities Act. A trained service dog is allowed to remain at the side of their owner at all times. It is possible a support dog may be performing the tasks that define a service dog without the owner realizing the difference. 

Make Lifestyle Adjustments

There are no requirements for employers, landlords, shop owners, and others to allow a therapy dog onto their property. This does not mean that the dog will always be banned. The owner must plan ahead and make arrangements for the dog in order to keep them at their side. Many landlords will accept well-behaved dogs if the tenant pays an additional pet fee and a pet deposit. Employers are becoming more pet-friendly and allowing employees to bring their animals with them to work. It is even possible to find cities around the country ranked on how friendly they are to pets. These are places that commonly welcome dogs to their outdoor restaurants and bars and allow pets in the majority of rentals. 

Get the Credentials

Rearranging a life entirely is not going to work for some people because of the extent of their anxiety or other issues. Instead, they will need to find ways to encourage more acceptance of their dog. Emotional support animal certification helps to legitimize the work the pet performs. It can make it possible for the pet to be allowed on aircraft, taken into shops and businesses, and will help landlords and others to understand how important they are to their owner. Talk to a facility like Next Generation Psychology about what steps you should take to get your pet certified.

Work for Change

Even with certification, an emotional support dog will not always get the same respect and rights as a therapy or service dog. Many people with limitations that rely on these dogs understand how frustrating it is and how unfair it seems. This is why writing to local representatives and state senators to discuss the problem and starting petitions to recognize them equally with service dogs is so important. Change will only happen if enough people demand it. 

Every dog owner understands the love and friendship a dog will bestow on their human partners. There is an even tighter bond for people that are unable to live as comfortably as others because of their anxiety or other psychological concerns. It is unfortunate that adjusting schedules, moving or making other changes is necessary, but for some people it may be the only way to have their companion at their side as needed. 


31 October 2016

dog training to develop trust

How trusting are you of your dog when children and strangers are around? Does your dog know how to behave around children and strangers? For years, I kept my dogs locked in my bedroom when we had any guests in the house. I never saw my dog get aggressive towards anyone, but I didn't want to chance him not liking someone and attacking him or her. I decided that it was time for him to go for some formal training so that I could have faith in his ability to control himself in different settings. This blog will show you how a dog can change and how your trust can improve after some training.