Can service dogs help with anxiety?

by Tayyba Saddiq
Read this blog to know can service dog help with anxiety?

It’s been said that service dogs can help greatly with anxiety. Service dogs are a special kind of dog who is trained in such a way to perform different tasks of the owner. Service dogs are very helpful for people having some kind of disability. For example, a service dog can be trained to show the path to a blind person. These dogs not only used for physical disabilities but they are also used by people to get rid of anxiety. Service dogs are very helpful to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. 

 

Types of service dogs

There are multiple types of dogs but some of them are very active. Five breeds of service dogs are very popular all over the world. Let’s discuss these popular breeds of service dogs one by one. 

German shepherd dog:

This breed of dog is very intelligent and they do almost every task to make your life easier. They are considered as the best service dog due to their good behavior and friendly nature. They are easy to train and they are called quick learners. 

Poodle dog:

Poodle dogs are a very cute breed of dogs and they can do quick jobs. This breed is very smart and capable. They are easy to train. They come in different sizes but the standard size of the dog can be the best service dog. Standard poodles have a strong body and they look great as a service dog. But if you need a service dog for a smaller and easier task, the small breeds can also perform well. 

Boxers:

These dogs are rarely used as service dog but they have similar traits that make them a perfect service dog. They come in different sizes, big boxers are perfect to perform difficult physical tasks but small dogs can also perform well in crowded locations. They considered the best companion for elders and children. Their energy level is very high and they are easy to train. 

Great danes:

These dogs are strong enough to perform all tasks. They are well suited which makes them unique.

If you have a balance problem and cannot stay steady, this dog breed will be ideal for you.

This intelligent breed is also used for emotional support.

Great Danes always make their owners happy so if you are fighting with depression, this dog will help you with anxiety and depression. 

Border collies: Border Collies are a very intelligent and smart breed of dogs.

They always make their owners happy.

They can be used as a service dog because they can be easily trained.

Border Collies are very loving, they love playing with kids but sometimes they behave weirdly with kids.

So these dogs are best for adults but leaving children alone with them is not a good idea. 

 

Psychiatric service dogs

Psychiatric service dogs are trained for people having a physical or mental disability.

These disabled persons are unable to perform a specific task.

They recognize their owner and help him doing some kind of task.

American with disability act (ADA) allows these dogs to help the public and service dogs are not considered as a pet animal.

These dogs are provided with extreme training to guide the people, for example, they can make you remember to take the medicine on a daily basis. 

 

Emotional support dogs

These dogs are considered pet animals and they provide emotional support and comfort to the owner.

The dogs are slightly different from service dogs they do not need to be trained in order to perform specific tasks.

These dogs help you fight against depression. 

 

Therapy dogs

These dogs do not engage with a single person or owner but they are engaged with different people at a time.

Therapy dogs are used in hospitals, nursing homes and daycare centers to provide psychological therapy.

They cannot be used as a service dog publically. 

All of the above-mentioned animals help a person with anxiety and depression. You can choose the best animal according to your needs and requirements. 

 

What are the advantages of a service dog? 

Service dogs are one of the important types of dogs who can perform multiple tasks and help you with depression and anxiety.

They can be trained to provide treatment-related assistance, help a person during the crisis and many more.

We have discussed a few tasks which a service dog can perform for you:

  • Service dogs can remind you to take medicine on time
  • They can provide contact support and bring your mobile phone
  • They can call in emergency situations
  • Service dogs can also identify the side effects of a medicine
  • They can provide you emotional support when you are lonely
  • They can share your burden in-home tasks
  • A service dog can guide you to go somewhere
  • They can provide you security

 

What should I do to get a service dog? 

If you have some kind of mental disorder or you are fighting with depression, a service dog can help you get rid of these problems.

To qualify for a service dog, you have to show a letter from a licensed professional saying that you are unable to perform specific tasks due to depression.

The licensed professional should be a therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker. To qualify your service dog you must be able to do the following things:

  • Be able to participate in the dogs training
  • Able to bear the veterinary expenses of your dog
  • & to command the dog in the same way he is trained

 

The cost of the service dog is not covered by a private insurance company or medical companies.

If you have a low budget, you can find a nonprofit organization to provide you a service dog at a low cost or free.

But they have a long list because multiple people apply for free service dogs.

If you cannot afford a service dog, you can train your own by paying fewer amounts than the service dog. 

 

What should you do if you do not qualify a service dog?

Didn’t you qualify for a service dog? You do not need to worry; we have an alternative for you. You should look for an emotional support animal.

They cannot compete with a service dog when it comes to protection in a public place but they are enough to provide you companionship and comfort. 

Emotional support animals are absolutely free and they are allowed to keep at homes.

Also, Cats and dogs are the common emotional support animals but other animals are also included in the emotional support animals list. 

If you are still feeling difficulty in fighting with your depression, there are multiple treatment options available for this purpose.

Moreover, These are a few alternatives which can help you with anxiety:

  • Medication
  • cognitive behavior therapy 
  • interpersonal therapy or (IPT)
  • electroconvulsive therapy 
  • biofeedback
  • Massage therapy and yoga
  • aromatherapy
  • guided imagery
  • exercise

 

Summary

The above-mentioned breeds of dogs can be used as a service dog.

All of the above-mentioned dog breeds are very friendly and they can be ideal for you if you are suffering from depression or anxiety.

Also, German Shepherd dogs are considered as the best companion for humans, having this breed at home can make you free from anxiety.

You can also use medication and therapy together to get rid of depression.

Change in lifestyle can also be helpful; you can hang out with friends instead of laying down on a bed in a darker room.

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