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What Can a Service Dog Do for Anxiety: Everything You Need to Know

Millions of people suffer every day from anxiety. Generalized anxiety disorders, high-stress work environments, and different forms of social stressors can present a lot of problems in our daily lives. Thankfully, service dogs have proven to be incredibly helpful for those dealing with anxiety. This goes way beyond a cute smile and a cuddle from your favorite pup. Service dogs can actually provide a lot of support and relief. Here are some amazing ways service dogs can help you or someone you know in a stressful situation.

Detecting Signs of Anxiety

One of the most amazing things about trained service dogs is their ability to detect an anxiety attack before it happens. If your anxiety tends to creep up on you in certain situations, your service dog can alert you when an anxiety attack is coming on. If your service dog detects rising anxiety levels, you can leave the scene and find a safe and calming space for yourself to recover. Service dogs can help you to stop an anxiety attack before it becomes a debilitating situation.

Lead You to Safety

Service dogs can also lead you to a safe place or alert another person for help. For many people, anxiety can become so overwhelming that it’s hard to find an exit, ask for help, or even find a safe place to sit down. Service dogs are trained to get you out of an uncomfortable situation and lead you to safety.

Stop Others from Coming Too Close

Many people suffer from social phobias that can make them feel highly anxious when out in public or in crowded areas. Having a service dog can create that space between you and the public so you don’t feel suffocated or overwhelmed. A service dog can be trained to stop others from coming too close to you. Service dogs are trained not to react in a vicious or aggressive way. They will simply create a strong presence to protect you from elements that might raise your anxiety levels.

Bring You Medication

Service dogs can also bring people medication when their anxiety symptoms appear. They can act as a reminder to take daily medication, or they can be trained to get medication for you if you’re physically unable to get it yourself. Anxiety can be a paralyzing experience for some individuals. If you are in constant need of help with medications for your anxiety, a service dog can assist you.

Use Distraction to Calm You Down

While service dogs are terrific for protection, keeping up with medications, and seeking help when you need it, they’re also great friends. When your service dog detects your anxiety rising, they can actually help to calm you down by using their awesome personalities. A service dog will provide a friendly paw or a sweet kiss on the face when they know you’re feeling anxious. They have an amazing ability to distract you from the stressful situation and remind you that they’re there to protect you. With proper service dog certification, you and your service dog can conquer the world together. Contact the National Service Animal Registry to learn more about how a service dog can help you today!

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Why You Should Make your Pet an Emotional Support Animal

Do you suffer from emotional or psychological issues? Do you depend on your pet to provide comfort in stressful situations? Have you ever felt unable to cope in a public place because you didn’t have your animal friend to keep you calm?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, have you considered registering your pet as an emotional support animal?

Imagine how much easier life would be if you could be out and about with your emotional support dog, cat, or animal and not have to explain why you need them with you? Imagine having the peace of mind to know you could take them in the cabin of a plane without having to pay extra costs, or that you won’t ever have to justify them to your housing provider.

Maybe you already know that registering your pet as an emotional support animal would make a huge difference in your life, but you’re unfamiliar with or worry about the process.

We want you to know you are not alone. We have been helping people with emotional support animals for over 25 years, and we can use our knowledge and experience to guide you through the entire process. We can help you get the correct documentation, complete a lifetime registration, and even advise you about the equipment you need for your animal friend.

Registering your pet as an emotional support animal (ESA) is quick, easy, and affordable. Let’s start by outlining everything you need to know.

Ready to get started straight away? Click here to register your ESA

What is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?

Although an emotional support animal often starts out as a pet (dog, cat, and other domestic animals), for people who are living with an emotional or psychological health condition, they become so much more.

Unlike service animals, ESAs are often not trained to carry out specific tasks like service animals, but they help people with mental health conditions stay calm in a situation that might otherwise be a trigger for their symptoms.

For many people living with emotional or psychological health conditions, the presence of their emotional support animal gives them the support they need to get through daily life.

People with an emotional support dog, cat or other animal sometimes have conditions such as anxiety or depression. Others have emotional problems such as relationship issues that make coping with certain situations or daily life difficult. It could also be as simple as a fear of flying or another phobia that makes going on a trip or doing something related to their phobia unthinkable if they are not accompanied by their furry companion animal.

In order for a pet to become a legally recognized emotional support dog, cat, or animal, they must be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional such as a psychologist, a psychiatrist, or a therapist. This means that they are part of the treatment program for this person. Not currently working with a doctor or therapist? You should consider National Service Animal Registry’s a NO-RISK emotional support animal letter assessment.

To qualify, you must be considered emotionally disabled and have a letter from a licensed therapist to prove it. Some airlines and housing companies will accept a letter from a family doctor.

Almost all domesticated animals qualify to become an emotional support animal. The most common are dog and cats, but rabbits, mice, and rats are common too. Animals can be any age; the only requirement is they are manageable in public and don’t create a nuisance in the home.

What are the Benefits of Registering your Emotional Support Animal?

Puppy lying in a camera bag

It isn’t a legal requirement to register your emotional support animal, but there are tremendous benefits, including rights and protections.

  1. You can fly with your emotional support animal in the cabin with you without paying extra costs (The Air Carrier Access Act 49 U.S.C. 41705, Department of Transportation 14 C.F.R. Part 382)
  2. You have the right to live with your emotional support animal in housing where pets are not allowed, without being charged an extra fee (Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988)
  3. Although other public and private establishments (such as hotels, restaurants, taxis, theaters) are not legally required to let you enter with your assistance animal, many are sympathetic if the animal is registered and wears identifying patches or a vest and has an ID card.
  4. For many people, the biggest benefit is the peace of mind to know that their pet is recognized and identifiable as an assistance animal should they need to take advantage of the legal protections in the future, they are covered.

How To Register Your Emotional Support Animal

So, if believe you’d benefit from the advantages of registering your pet as an emotional support animal, you’re probably wondering how to get started. We’ve outlined the process below in three easy steps, but remember you don’t need to do it alone, you can contact us for help and advice at any stage.

Step 1: Get a Letter From a Licensed Therapist

If you don’t have a therapist or your therapist is unwilling to write an animal emotional support letter, National Service Animal Registry (NSAR) offers a NO-RISK emotional support animal letter assessment. National Service Animal Registry is the original and most trusted and referred online provider of ESA prescription letters in the United States, equipped with an extensive network of experienced licensed therapists across the nation who specialize in ESA assessments.

Step 2: Register your Emotional Support Animal
Dog sitting next to a laptop

Although you aren’t required to have your ESA letter before registering, you should register your emotional support animal and get the equipment you need to identify them when you’re out and about. If the registration process feels overwhelming, we can help. We offer three different emotional support animal kits, which we have created based on our experience to cater to people with different needs. We can help you decide which suits you best so you can be sure you make the right decision for your furry friend.

All three kits all include lifetime registration of your ESA as standard – that means you never have to register them again – plus registration in the National Service Dog Register, a frameable embossed certificate, an ESA ID card, and ID card leash clip.

Step 3: Get Out and About Easily with your Emotional Support Animal

Once your emotional support animal is registered and you have your equipment, you’re all set to get out and about together. You’ll be able to relax and have the peace of mind to know you don’t need to explain or justify having your emotional support animal with you, even when you fly. You might well be surprised about the welcome you receive in places that aren’t legally required to allow you to bring them inside, such as cafes and restaurants. And if ever you need to prove your pet is an emotional support animal to your housing provider, you’re all set!

Ready to get started? Click here to register your ESA

Registering Your Emotional Support Animal: Next Steps

We hope this article gave you all the information you need to work out whether registering your pet as an emotional support animal is right for you, and start the registration process.

If you need further help, take a look at our website: National Service Animal Registry. We’ve pulled together all the information you need to guide you through the process of registering your animal.

You can also contact us for further information. We can guide you through the process, provide help and advice about the most appropriate ESA registration kit to suit your emotional support animal and lifestyle, and provide any other help and advice you need.

We’ve helped countless people with emotional support dogs, cats, and animals over the last 25 years. We look forward to helping you too.

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Best Online Veterinarians: Personal Consultations at Home

Due to the global pandemic COVID-19, more and more people are choosing to do their everyday activities from home. Whether it’s working from home, working out at home to hair appointments and even veterinarian and doctor visits all from the comfort of our living rooms.

We are seeing a lot of things that people used to go out and do can actually be done while practicing social distancing at home. If you need to take your emotional support dog or your service dog or any other pets that you have to the vet but are worried about going into public places or maybe your dog gets stressed at the vet or you just can’t make your regular appointment, you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of veterinarians that are offering online consultations from the comfort of your home. Online vet visits are also convenient when you have a question or are not sure whether you need to take your emotional support dog into the vet’s office or not. Online veterinarians are an awesome resource that pet lovers everywhere are embracing for their service dogs and emotional support dogs, their cats, birds, iguanas, hamsters and so on!

We’ve compiled a list of the best online vets to make sure your emotional support dog or service dog can get the very best care without leaving their treasured homes.

  1. VetLive.com: This website provides reasonably-priced veterinarian services 24/7- one of the few online veterinarians that offer 24/7 access. All vets on this site are licensed and have plenty of experience. Depending on what time you call the vet and the urgency of your request, VetLive consultations range from $16.95 to $59.95.

How to Visit: If you need to make an online appointment for your emotional support dog, the process is fairly simple at VetLive.com. Just create an account and then you can ask a question. Within minutes, you’ll be connected to a veterinarian and you’ll be able to have a live chat with them about your concerns and questions. Bonus: If the veterinarian at VetLive can’t answer your questions, your chat with them is free!

  1. Chewy.com: If you’re a pet owner you’re probably familiar with Chewy.com. While Chewy is not a vet, they do offer a pharmacy that we are big fans of. Chewy offers more than 1,000 brands of pet products and also has experts available 24/7 to help you make the best selection for your emotional support dog or service dog. The reason we love the pet pharmacy so much is because of its convenience. Simply enter your pet’s information and vet information and then you’ll receive your pet’s prescription in as fast as a day or two..straight to your door! How convenient is that?
  2. PetCoach: This website is actually powered by Petco. It’s a great resource for pet owners looking for non-urgent, free advice for their emotional support dogs or service dogs. The website features more than 400,000 articles and answers to questions asked by pet owners over the years. What’s more, the website allows you to easily search these questions and answers for your specific needs. If, for any reason, your question isn’t among the hundreds of thousands already on the site, there is an “Ask a Vet” button that will allow you to submit your own question. You’ll receive an answer from a licensed veterinarian within a day or two. If you need an immediate answer, there’s the option to pay $8 and get help immediately. There’s another option for $30 that offers a more in-depth consultation with a licensed veterinarian. This consultation is done over text messaging. There’s also a monthly subscription option for $9/month for access to all PetCoach services. The monthly membership also gives you discounts. For example, you can wash your emotional support dog at the self-wash station for $2. For non-members, the self-wash stations typically cost $14 per wash.
  3. Ask.Vet: This website connects with licensed vets for live chats on your computer or mobile device. These vets are also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The vets at Ask.Vet are all licensed and have an average practice experience of 12 years. These veterinarians provide guidance, advice and education but they can’t diagnose, treat or prescribe medications. That’s important to note. So, if you’re in an emergency situation or you can tell your emotional support dog will need a consult or medicine, this website isn’t the best option for that. Ask.Vet is a good resource when you have questions and you’d rather have an immediate answer instead of waiting a day or two like some of the other websites. If you do choose to use Ask.Vet and the veterinarian thinks your service dog or other pet needs to be seen immediately, they will provide you with the three emergency animal hospitals that are closest to you. They can also give you referrals to local veterinarians that you can take your emotional support dog in to see. You are charged by session at Ask.Vet. Each session is $19.95 and will last between 15-20 minutes.
Veterinarian Services for your service dog
  1. VetTriage.com: This website allows you to get immediate assistance for your service dog or emotional support dog via video chat. These vets are available 24/7 to help diagnose your emotional support dog’s health concerns. You have the option to have a video consultation or a video chat if you just have questions that need to be answered.

How to Visit: Using your computer or mobile device, there’s a button on the website that says “Connect Now.” Then you will be prompted to enter your information. Next, you’ll be directed to PayPal to purchase your session. After you’ve entered your payment information, push the “Call” button and you be connected directly with a licensed veterinarian via your mobile device or computer camera. Then your video consult begins. Because of the video capabilities, the vet is able to see your pet on-screen and observe them. This helps them to be able to provide the most accurate plan of action for your emotional support dog.

  1. Banfield Pet Hospital Vet Chat: If you’re a pet owner, you are probably familiar with Banfield Pet Hospital, at the very least you’ve probably passed at Banfield Pet Hospital Clinic in your city. The VetChat offers one-on-one chat with a veterinarian anytime via the Banfield app. These vets are available 24/7 for advice and support. You do have to be a Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan member in order get access to the service. But, for the more than 2 million members across the U.S., Vet Chat is a quick and easy way to get a consult with a vet virtually for any concerns you may have about your emotional support dog.
  2. YourFuzzy.Com: YourFuzzy is another website that allows you to skip the trip to the vet and get your answers from the comfort of your home. YourFuzzy offers video calls for veterinary consultations for your service dog or emotional support dog. The website also provides home-delivery for medications that the vet prescribes, supplements and nutrition. YourFuzzy offers a subscription health program for pets for a fee of $45 per month. The monthly subscription includes two in-home wellness visits per year, annual feces test, annual heart work test, microchipping and registration, health records and reminders and course, the digital access to the veterinary team.

Veterinarians are turning to telemedicine to help meet the needs of their animal patients from anywhere, anytime. Some of the reasons vets use Telehealth, besides COVID-19 are:

Telemedicine for your service dog and ESA
  • Follow-up appointments after surgery
  • Behavioral issues or training
  • Patient has transportation issues
  • Hospice care
  • Determining whether a service dog or emotional support dog needs to actually go see a veterinarian and how urgently they should get there
  • Long-term care monitoring

Whether you’re looking to permanently switch to an online veterinarian or just temporarily due to the coronavirus, or maybe your regular vet isn’t open and you need access on a holiday or at any hour of the night, we hope this list will act as a useful resource guide for you to choose the best online vet for your service dog or emotional support dog.

Online vets can help you with prescriptions, a regular check-up, an emergency visit or question or simple questions about your emotional support dog’s behavior. It seems the future really is here as telemedicine continues to evolve. We all know how much anxiety a trip to the vet can cause for our beloved service dogs or emotional support dogs. Virtual visits to the vet can help ease the anxiety for both pet and pet owner. If you are using an emotional support dog or service dog it may be because your mobility is limited or perhaps you have social anxiety. A virtual visit to the vet is a perfect solution for you if that’s the case because you can enjoy quality healthcare from the comfort of your home and at the very least get your questions answered and provide you with peace of mind.