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Emotional Support Animal Laws: All You Need to Know

Many people rely on animals for companionship and comfort. They tend to our emotional needs and ask little in return other than some attention, a walk in the park and a bowl of food. To people disabled by mental, psychological or emotional disorders, their animals are more than pets but an integral part of their medical care.

An emotional support animal helps people with mental or emotional disabilities to function with a degree of normalcy. To a person susceptible to panic attacks, anxiety, or other behaviors related to their mental or emotional condition, having the animal around can be a calming presence.

That could mean taking a cat with them for a medical visit, cradling a pig on a passenger air flight, or holding a lizard in a public place. Not every place accessible to the public allows emotional support animals, although many are. Even if you’ve obtained an emotional support animal certification, it helps to be familiar with laws that affect them and your ownership of them.

Legal Challenges

Owners of emotional support animals (ESAs) typically confront resistance from property managers of apartments with no-pet policies or those that charge a substantial fee for having a pet. ESA owners also encounter resistance from managers of public access buildings like theaters and restaurants. These facilities restrict animal access to specially trained service animals like dogs that assist the blind. Emotional support animals are not considered service animals by some companies, so owners of ESAs may also run into resistance from airlines when trying to board with them.

Not every building with public access is required to accept emotional support animals. However, federal law does protect owners diagnosed with emotional, psychological or mental disabilities who want to take their support animals on passenger flights. The owners also have legal protections when it comes to leasing a place to live.

Housing

The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 ensures individuals with disabilities who rely on emotional support animals have access to housing – even to properties that restrict pets. Property owners are required under federal law to make “reasonable accommodations” for emotional support animals. They cannot charge an advance deposit or fee for the ESAs but may recover costs from damage the animal causes to the property. Property owners may require individuals with ESAs to present documentation of their disability from the licensed mental health professional treating the individual.

Air Travel

Disabled individuals that want to travel with their emotional support animals sometimes encounter resistance from passenger air carriers. Individuals with ESAs are protected by the Air Carrier Access Act that prohibits discrimination of disabled people who travel by air. This 1990 law prohibits airlines from refusing transportation to or require advance notice from people who are disabled. Air carriers are required to accommodate individuals with emotional support animals.

Air carriers may also require disabled people with ESAs to supply documentation of their disability. In addition, individual airlines may have their own policies regarding emotional support animals accompanying their owners, so it is a good idea to check with their carrier prior to the trip.

Be Aware

The federal laws covering emotional support animals in travel and residential situations prevent discrimination to mentally or psychologically disabled individuals. Documentation from a licensed mental health professional of a mental or psychological condition or disorder is often requested. In some cases, disabled persons apply for emotional support animal certifications to ensure the animals are recognized as essential to the person’s therapy. If an emotional support animal is part of your therapeutic routine, it may be an option worth looking into. Visit our ESA certification page to purchase your own ESA certificate today!

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How to Get a Service Dog for Anxiety

All human beings deal with anxiety to some degree. It’s how we’re wired. Anxiety, for some people, creates a negative impact on life. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), anxiety disorders affect over 40 million adults in the U.S. A growing number of people with anxiety disorders get help from emotional support animals. Also called an ESA, a support animal may be a dog, cat, or even a miniature horse. Learn how you can find a service dog or cat to help with anxiety.

Request a Prescription

Talking with your mental healthcare provider about your anxiety and the possibility of using an emotional support animal as part of your treatment. First, a therapist can help you get the most out of your service animal. Second, they can write a letter for you. While it’s not like a prescription you take to the pharmacy, an emotional support animal letter is your proof that your ESA is a necessary part of your daily life.

Adopt a Service Dog

If you already own a dog, great! Most of your work is already done. If not, you’ll want to find the perfect support pet for your unique needs. As mentioned above, support animals come in many forms, but the majority of people with anxiety get a dog. One of the best ways you can get a service dog is through adoption. Since emotional support animals don’t need to go through certification, and they don’t need to be a certain breed, you’ll find dogs in every animal shelter or rescue organization in the country who would love to be a part of your life. The only qualification is that the dog makes you feel secure and comforts you, especially when you experience symptoms of anxiety.

Training Your ESA

Once you bring your dog home, it’s training time! Not only do you need your dog to learn how best to help you, but it’s also essential for your dog to learn how to be a good citizen. That means training them not to jump on people or lunge at other animals. You want your dog to respond to you and obey your commands. By training, we’re talking about obedience and not being a nuisance when you take the dog out in public. If you and your dog can master sit, stay, down, and heel, you’ll both be welcome just about anywhere you want to go.

Register Your Support Dog

Unlike a certified service animal, you don’t have a legal requirement to register your support pet. Even so, you’ll enjoy several benefits when you register a dog for emotional support. ESA dog registration includes paperwork, which identifies your dog as a support animal. Paperwork is always a plus when you travel with your dog, apply for housing, or take your dog into places where only service dogs are allowed. You can also get a vest for your registered ESA, which is another way to show people your dog is on the official mission of caring for you. Don’t wait to get registered! For questions about ESA registration, contact National Service Animal Registry today at (866) 737-3930.

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How To Say Goodbye

None of us want to think about what will happen when our service dog gets old or sick. We depend on them for so many things; perhaps most importantly, for companionship. We don’t want to imagine what our lives would be like without them, or that we might have to make a difficult decision when they reach the end of their life.

Naturally, we’d prefer for our service dogs to pass peacefully in their sleep, but more often than not there comes a point where we have to think about euthanasia. Having an animal in our lives is a privilege, and with that privilege comes responsibility. Making the decision to put our pets to sleep is often the kindest thing to do in the end.

The aim of this article is to provide you with all the information you need so you know what to expect when the time comes. Saying goodbye to your best friend is never going to be easy, but being well informed about the process will hopefully make the journey smoother for you and help you prepare for the decisions you will need to make.

How to know when the time is right

One of the hardest things about euthanasia is the fact that, ultimately, we have to make the final decision. This can be particularly difficult for older service dogs who have deteriorated gradually.

How do we decide when it’s the right time? What if we make the decision too early? How can we know that today is the right day? Are they so much worse than they were yesterday? How do we know how they will be tomorrow?

It’s very important to remember that you don’t have to make this decision on your own. Your vet, who is objective and less emotionally involved, will be able to advise you, so make sure you ask for their help and guidance. Ask as many questions as you need to in order to make the decision. You might also be able to get support and advice from friends and family, particularly if they have been through this too.

It might help you to come to terms with the decision if you look at photographs or videos of your when they were younger. If you see how much they have changed and are struggling now in comparison, it might make you realize that the time is right.

Assessing your service dog’s quality of life

In the end, making a decision about pet euthanasia often comes down to their quality of life. If you have had a close relationship with your service dog, you will not want them to suffer. You want them to die with dignity, free of pain. Your vet will be able to help you assess their quality of life. It might help for you to consider these questions.

  • Is your service dog suffering from chronic pain that can’t be controlled by medication?
  • Is he experiencing frequent vomiting? Is he continent?
  • Does he find it difficult to breathe?
  • Is he taking in enough water? Is he able to drink independently?
  • Is he eating voluntarily? Is he interested in food?
  • Is his coat healthy? Are all pressure spots and wounds clean?
  • Does he still want to do the things he has always enjoyed? Is he keen to go for a walk? Does he respond to his favorite people? Is he interested in his favorite toys?
  • Is he able to stand and walk on his own?

If you are responding negatively to many of these questions, it’s time to get your vet’s opinion about the right course of action for your animal.

How to prepare

Once the decision to go ahead with euthanasia is made, you may find it difficult to hand over all control to the vet. You might experience feelings of powerless, which can be hard to deal with. It might help if you focus on the parts you can control, such as where the procedure will take place and how you can make it as comfortable as you can for your dog or cat.

It might also help to make a plan for what will happen afterward. Organizing a memorial for our pets can help us process grief, just like it does when we organize a person’s funeral. It’s also a good idea to make these arrangements in advance to take the pressure off the period immediately after the procedure, when you might not be up to it.

Anticipate the fact that organizing payment following the procedure might not be easy for you emotionally, so ask your vet in advance how much it will cost and how you will pay. It might be possible to settle the bill beforehand, so you don’t have to think about it afterward.

What will happen

Although you may not feel like hearing all the details, getting as much information as you can from your vet about the options will help you make an informed decision on behalf of your beloved animal and to prepare yourself.

Sometimes, it’s possible for the vet to come to your home to carry out the procedure. If you think this would be easier for you, ask the vet if it’s an option. On the other hand, you may prefer to personally take your pet to the vet’s office or animal hospital and remain with him or her, while others choose to say goodbyes and not be present for the procedure. Remember, everyone copes differently, and there is no shame in leaving the final act to the vet.

The procedure

If you are planning to be present at the end, it’s a good idea to know what to expect so you are prepared. The procedure will vary according to the vet and the animal, so ask for it to be explained to you beforehand. Ask all the questions you need to; nothing is too trivial. This is will help you prepare.

Normally, pets are put to sleep by an overdose of anesthetic. In larger animals, such as dogs and cats, this is injected into a vein; in smaller animals, it is normally injected into the abdomen following sedation.

Vets sometimes sedate larger animals too but may opt not to do so, as this can make the animals sick. It can also make it harder for the vet to find a vein and carry out the procedure smoothly.

Remember, even if they are not sedated, all your service dog will feel is the prick of the needle. The whole thing will be over very quickly, as the anesthetic reaches the heart in seconds.

For smaller animals, the procedure is likely to take place on a table, and for larger ones it might be carried out on the floor. The vet will have to hold the animal in a certain way, so he/she is likely to tell you where you can stand (or sit) so your animal can hear your voice and feel your presence while giving your vet the room he/she needs.

Sometimes animals have a reaction after death that can be upsetting if you’re not expecting it. Some might gasp or make a noise; they might twitch or empty their bowels. Remember, your service dog and is unaware of this; it is it completely normal.

What happens next?

Don’t worry if you feel upset and cry or find it hard to control your emotions. Your vet will have performed this procedure many times and will have seen a wide range of reactions. You may surprise yourself by being calm, especially if you are well prepared. You might also feel some relief on behalf of your service dog, if they have been suffering. People react in very different ways, and each one is perfectly natural.

If the procedure takes place at the vet’s office, you will be given time afterward to say goodbye to your service dog. You will have decided beforehand if your vet is going to organize a cremation,,if you prefer to do this for yourself.

If your pet didn’t have an infectious disease, you can opt to take him or her home with you. If you wish the arrange a burial or cremation at a pet cemetery the international association of pet cemeteries and crematories will be able to direct you to one in your area. If you wish to bury him yourself or scatter his ashes, you’ll want to check with the local authority to see if there are any restrictions.

How to cope with grief following the loss of your beloved animal

No one who has had a strong bond with a pet will be surprised to hear that losing a beloved animal can be as difficult as losing a person you are close to. Some people feel quite isolated, lonely, and even depressed when they lose their service dog. It can be difficult to express your feelings, particularly if you think the people around you don’t understand.

If you have friends and family who have been through it, reach out to them for help. It helps to talk to someone who has been there, and it’s important that you don’t bottle up your grief. If you don’t have sympathetic people close to you, try to find a support network. Ask your doctor about local support and counseling. It’s important that you find someone you can talk to.

Sometimes the fact that you had to make the final decision can weigh heavily on you. You might experience feelings of guilt and self-doubt. Remember, you made the decision in consultation with your vet, and you were doing what was best for your service dog by relieving them of their pain and letting them pass with dignity.

Sometimes it helps to create a memorial for your pet. Some people have a portrait painted, or make a scrapbook of photos and memories. You might like to think about having a stone in your garden or planting a tree. Some people like to donate to an animal charity. If you’re struggling to come to terms with the passing of your pet, you may consider writing down your feelings in a journal. Sometimes expressing feelings on paper helps you to come to terms with them.

When is it time to get a new service dog?

Some of us need a service dog in order to be able to carry out the functions of our everyday life. If this is the case for you, however difficult it sounds, it’s a good idea to start making arrangements to find another animal to love – and don’t feel guilty about it. You will have great memories of your old friend, but that doesn’t stop you from making new memories, or new friends.

If your needs are not immediate, take your time and don’t put yourself under pressure to make a decision. Ultimately, you need to think about your quality of life and how much you benefit from having a service dog.

Final words

Saying goodbye to a service dog can be extremely difficult, particularly if we have to make the decision to put them to sleep. When they reach a point where they do not have a good quality of life and they are having more bad days than good, we need to take a step back and think about what is best for them.

The strong feelings you might experience in the period after they have gone are nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, they are a testament to the special bond you shared with your pet.

Although you might be in pain now, know that you will recover. You have done the best thing for your service dog and you will always have those very special memories.

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Everything You Need to Know about Emotional Support Cats

If you’d like your emotional support animal to accompany you on planes or live with you in otherwise restrictive housing, ESA registration is key. With the appropriate documentation, your rights can be protected. Lacking these essential documents, you’ll have a much more difficult time and could be rejected outright. Emotional support animals can be tremendously helpful, especially if you deal with stress, anxiety, or depression. While ESA and service dogs get a lot of attention and are quite popular, emotional support cats make excellent companions as well. The process is easier than most people think.

Emotional Support Animals

If you have a mental illness and feel that an emotional support animal could be helpful, the first thing you should do is speak with a psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist. They can discuss the benefits with you, and they should be able to determine if an emotional support cat may be the right choice for you.

Your ESA cat doesn’t have to undergo any specialized or formal training course. This is a common misconception. The primary purpose of an emotional support animal is to give their owner comfort, companionship, and emotional support. An ESA cat could help reduce anxiety, alleviate stress, and could even help you get better sleep. To qualify as an ESA, your cat does have to be well behaved and toilet trained.

Registration

The registration process isn’t overly difficult or complicated. A licensed mental health professional, such as your therapist, can provide you with a prescription letter verifying your need for an emotional support animal. You may visit the National Service Animal Registry website to register your animal. After registration, you’ll receive an Animal ID Card. It should have a picture of your cat on it, as well as additional information. This includes information about your legal rights. It’s important that you keep track of these documents, so you have proof of registration. Airlines and landlords are well within their rights to request proof that your ESA cat is a registered service animal.

Legal Rights

Legally speaking, an ESA cat has several benefits compared to an unregistered animal. The Fair Housing Act allows emotional support cats to be considered as assistance animals. What does this mean for you? Your ESA cat can’t be discriminated against when it comes to housing. Apartments, condos, and other housing that would otherwise have size restrictions or not allow animals at all can’t prevent you from keeping and living with your ESA cat. Additionally, you shouldn’t have to pay a deposit for your ESA cat.

Thanks to the Air Carrier Access Act, your ESA cat can accompany you in the cabin. As you know, animals often have to fly separately. However, your registered animal should be allowed to stay with you in the cabin instead. Remember that almost all airlines require documentation to be provided before boarding. Be sure to have it ready to hand. The airline will need to verify it beforehand.

As you can see, registering your ESA cat shouldn’t be a big challenge. Yet, there are many great perks that come with registration. If you think you could use the assistance of an emotional support animal, be sure to speak with a mental health professional. Your therapist should be happy to help you determine if an ESA cat would be right for you. Contact National Service Animal Registry at (866) 737-3930 to learn more about emotional support animals and the many ways they could assist you.

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Understanding the Positive Effects of Emotional Support Animals

The average person who deals with depression, anxiety, or other health conditions does it on their own. Sure, they have health care providers and maybe a therapist, but for the most part, they have limited support. Friends and family get busy. Doctors and therapists are only available during regular office hours. An animal, on the other hand, doesn’t have a schedule and is always at your side. If you already have a cuddly pet, you know how important they are to your well-being. An emotional support animal (ESA) can change your life! Today’s post covers the impact ESAs have on their owner’s lives. Learn about the positive things you could experience with an ESA support dog by your side.

A New Look on Life

If you suffer from depression, you know it’s more than feeling tired or not up to par a few days a week. Depression takes over and moves in for the long-haul. Most people who deal with depression experience a range of symptoms, but one common thread is a loss of hope. It’s difficult to plod through daily life without hope for the future. People without hope often have trouble caring for themselves and others. Spending time with a pet, especially one with a wagging tail and soulful eyes, can alleviate the symptoms of depression. As your mood lifts, you’ll feel hopeful again. While not a substitute for medication prescribed by your doctor, you could think of an ESA as a component of your treatment program.

Help for Anxiety

There’s a reason why so many people bring their ESA when they travel, especially on airplanes. It’s not uncommon for people to get anxious when they fly. For some, the anxiety is paralyzing and, in extreme cases, prevents the person from traveling by plane, which can put a damper on seeing the world. Traveling with an ESA may help alleviate some of the anxiety. While taking anti-anxiety medication may work, an ESA offers a different kind of relief. When you focus on your dog, instead of the fear of airplanes, you’ll usually relax and even enjoy your travel experience. By the way, simply petting your ESA can relieve anxiety, whether you’re on a plane, or sitting in your living room.

They Love You Back

The joy of owning a pet is the unconditional love they give, no matter what. An ESA doesn’t care if you’re feeling out of sorts. They love you anyway! There’s nothing like the unconditional love of an animal, but it’s especially helpful to a person with emotional health issues. It’s not uncommon for a person who has a mental health condition to feel unlovable. At the least, they may not feel like being around people. Your ESA will stay by your side, loving you right through the dark moments.

An Integral Part of Treatment

While they’re not a substitute for medical or mental health care, ESAs work as part of your overall treatment. Whether you exercise or practice mindfulness, you can incorporate time with your ESA into your treatment methods. When you need to ground yourself, you can focus on your animal. If you use exercise, your ESA can help motivate you to walk or run every day. Since they’re an essential part of treatment, you should consider ESA dog registration. Registering your ESA opens up a world of benefits, including the ability to show people that your animal is a legitimate support animal. For help with registration, contact National Service Animal Registry at (866) 737-3930 today!

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Best Emotional Support Dogs for Anxiety

As we learn more about mental and emotional disorders, more and more people are being diagnosed with problems like depression and anxiety daily. We live in a highly demanding, highly stressful world, and it’s little wonder that it seems just about everyone deals with some level of anxiety as a result. If you suffer from anxiety that significantly impacts your day-to-day life, you might consider getting an emotional support animal to help. These are the breeds we recommend for helping you cope with anxiety. If you have a support dog, remember to get an emotional dog support vest to clearly mark them as more than just a pet.

Spoiler: There’s No Wrong Answer

First, let’s get straight to the most important thing about choosing a dog for your anxiety. There’s no single dog breed that is better than others for this task. Unlike disability service dogs, which are typically one of only a handful of different breeds, any breed of dog can be an emotional support animal. In fact, the best breed for you will depend on your unique circumstances, needs, and even the cause of your anxiety. Now that we’ve given away the ending let’s get into more details about choosing the right dog for your anxiety.

Temperament Matters Most

If you don’t already have a dog, the first thing you need to consider is the general temperament of the breed you’re considering for your ESA. This is a dog that you need to be able to rely on for love and support when you’re feeling at your worst. This means you want a breed that is generally calm, friendly, affectionate, and loyal. While any dog can have these traits, regardless of their breed, some breeds do tend to have calmer and more affectionate temperaments than others, so do a little research before selecting a dog as your ESA.

Additionally, consider the energy levels of this breed. Is this a dog breed that tends to bark a lot or constantly want to run and play? Then it may not be the best breed for you. After all, you don’t want your dog to be wriggling away from you the moment you need a soothing cuddle.

The Right Size

This is one of those factors that will vary from one person to another. Small dogs work well as ESAs because they’re much easier to bring with you. They can fit into a bag or purse or easily be carried with you when traveling. This is much more difficult to do with a large dog.

However, if your anxiety is best soothed by full-body contact and calming pressure (you may currently rely on a weighted blanket to help you relax), then a large dog might work better for your needs. They can lay down with you and give you that reassuring presence your anxiety needs.

The Root of Your Anxiety

You should also work with a mental health professional to determine the root of your anxiety, as well as any associated triggers, as these may factor into the breed you select as your ESA. For example, is your anxiety connected to concerns for your personal safety? Then you might be more soothed by a large breed that you feel can protect you from potential threats. Is your anxiety often triggered by loud or repetitive sounds? Then you’ll want a dog breed that tends to be quieter; these include both large and small breeds, from pugs to Saint Bernards, so you can feed a dog that is quiet and fits your preferences for size as well.

Choosing a dog as an ESA can be much more complicated than simply picking a pet. But once you find the best support animal, you’ll discover just how much of a difference they can make in your life. And don’t forget to purchase an emotional support dog kit so that your canine partner has everything they need to perform their job as your ESA.

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Coronavirus: The Need for Emotional Support Animals is Real

Covid-19 brings a slew of stresses that can trigger any number of emotional responses. It seems everything is threatened, from our health to our livelihoods, to our natural sociability. Now, it is perhaps more evident than ever how much comfort an emotional support animal can offer through companionship and touch. An emotional support dog, cat or other pet can provide deep therapeutic wellbeing in these troubling times by providing friendship, purpose, and presence.

According to the CDC, some responses to the COVID-19 outbreak can include severe fear and anxiety. This may include:

  • Difficulty sleeping or changes in sleeping patterns
  • Changes in diet and eating patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Exacerbation of chronic health conditions
  • Exacerbation of mental health conditions
  • Alcohol and drug abuse

The CDC recommends a few ways to cope with stress and anxiety about the virus, including regular exercise, meditation, deep breathing, reducing your amount of news intake, avoiding alcohol and other substances and staying connected to loved ones through whatever means available. An emotional support animal can also be a great support.

The Stresses of the Corona Virus and How Emotional Support Animals Can Help

Below are a few of the emotional fears that corona virus can trigger. They are by no means insignificant and an emotional support animal is just one way to help mitigate fears and assuage overwhelm.

Isolation

In times of social distancing and mandatory stay at home orders, itis no surprise that a sense of isolation or loneliness can be developed or magnified, resulting in anxiety, depression or even PTSD. An emotional support animal can help soothe these emotional burdens by providing companionship, connection and touch. Letis look at each of these in turn:

Companionship provides the simple, but profound comfort found in sharing a space, or a life, with another living, breathing creature, such as an emotional support dog. Of course, an emotional support animal becomes more than an anonymous creature—they become an integral member of your family and an irreplaceable part of your tribe—even if together you are a family or tribe of two.

This companionship can of course develop into a deep bond of intimacy and love that is the definition of friendship. A friendship with your emotional support dog or other emotional support animal, as with any friendship, can provide feelings of joy and connection. You enjoy each other’s company and develop a rapport of sorts.

Your emotional support dog can also help in times of isolation by providing touch. Touch is something so often underacknowledged, and yet so crucial to the emotional well-being of human beings. An emotional support animal can of course provide plenty of nourishing touch. They are there to nuzzle, scratch, pet and cuddle.

Unemployment and Loss of Financial Security

Our ability to provide for ourselves and our families is critical our sense of overall security. When we lose a job or are in financial stress, especially with no idea when our situation will change, it’s normal to feel our stability deeply rocked. An emotional support animal can help alleviate some of the burden by providing a sense of purpose.

How do they give us a sense of purpose? Well, just as they provide nurturing and comfort, they also require a certain amount of attention and nurturing. An emotional support dog, for example, will get you out of the house to go on walks. (Incidentally, getting out of the house, even just for short walks and with a mask covering half of your face, can also help with feelings of isolation.) An emotional support cat needs you to change the kitty litter and of course, all emotional support animals need to be fed and watered every day.

It may seem small, but even these small responsibilities provide purpose. And it is a comfort to tend to the needs of a loved one, even if you aren’t able to work for a paycheck for the time being.

The Unknown Future

A fear of the future is a general, murky fear of the unknown. What does the future have in store? The truth is, we never know what the future has in store for us, but the sensation is truly magnetized in times of crisis.

One way to soften the anxiety around the unknown, is to ground into the present. Emotional support animals can be wonderful at helping us do just that. Your emotional support dog will snap you out of your ruminations on the end of the world when they need to go outside to pee. And when your emotional support cat curls up with softly squinting eyes in the evening, their purr resounding through the room, you’ll reminded that all is well in this moment.

Emotional support animals also have the ability to make us feel safe and at home—they help us relax, give us a feeling of snugness and warmth. In a world of unknowns, these sweet beings can make us feel deep gratification and contentment, grounding us in the present moment.

Illness, Death and Grief

On the extreme end of this virus crisis is both the fear of illness and death, and actual illness, death and grief from losing loved ones—made all the more awful since social distancing prevents large funerals and group grieving.

When dealing with these fears, an emotional support animal can help in all the ways mentioned above: they may help you to be more present, give you a sense of purpose and provide a nourishing relationship full of affection and touch.

When faced with the loss of a loved one, there may be no great consolation but time. However, sometimes just having a familiar presence by your side is a subtle, but appreciated comfort. An emotional support animal can be that friend.

Your Emotional Support Animal

In these troubling times, being able to find comfort in an animal friend can make a world of difference to your emotional well being.

If you live in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets, or you feel overwhelming stress when traveling alone, you may want to get a registered emotional support dog or other animal. An emotional support dog by your side could help assuage anxiety while maintaining social distancing in public, for example.

Alternatively, if you already have a special animal, you could get them registered as an emotional support animal.

Whatever your registration needs, the National Service Animal Registry can help. An emotional support dog or other animal can help relieve the emotional uneasiness during this pandemic.

If circumstances related to Covid-19 are causing severe anxiety and stress, be sure to seek help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can also call the disaster distress helpline at 1-800-985-5990. Get your own ESA letter and make your pet an emotional support animal here.

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Top Things a Service Dog Can Help You With

When people think about service dogs, they tend only to imagine seeing eye dogs. This, however, is only one type of service dog. These pets can be trained to perform so many different kinds of tasks to help their owners. Dogs can do a lot to help people with chronic conditions, including identifying dangers and providing emotional support. Read on below to learn more about the different types of services that a service dog can offer.

Mobility Assistance

For those who have limited mobility, service dogs can help them with everyday tasks that would otherwise be challenging or impossible to complete. A service dog can be used to help with retrieving objects, balance support, opening and closing doors, and more. The dogs that aid with balance support may wear a special harness for their owner to hold on to. These pups can help in emergency situations too.

Emotional Support

One of the most common types of support dogs is emotional support dogs. As the name suggests, these service animals help to provide emotional support for those who need it the most, people who are suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD, phobias, and more. These pets can help to make you feel more relaxed, safe, and comfortable in situations where you otherwise may not. If you have an emotional support dog, you may want to look into getting a service dog certification.

Medical Assistance

Some service dogs can also be trained to provide specific assistance for a medical need. They can detect a change in blood sugar, hormone levels, or some other measurable symptom that could have a dangerous effect. Some of these dogs are even taught to dial 911 in an emergency.

Wheelchair Assistance

In addition to helping those with limited mobility, there are some dogs whose only role involves helping those in wheelchairs. Your service dog may be able to help you pick up dropped items, open doors, fetch things, and complete any other task that you regularly perform in your daily life.

Seizure Alert

If you have epilepsy, you may benefit from the help of a seizure alert dog. Pups can be trained to respond to seizures in a few different ways. They can alert someone close by that you need help, or they push an alarm device that will call for help. These dogs can also lie on the floor next to their owner to prevent injury or break their fall at the beginning of a seizure. There are even some dogs who can alert their owner to an oncoming seizure even before it begins, though this sort of training is very difficult.

Allergy Alert

For those with severe allergies, a service dog can detect the life-threatening allergen by smell. They can alert you when they discover a food that could trigger your anaphylaxis. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and can detect even the smallest traces of a substance. Some pups can even detect diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, by smell.

Hearing Support

Service dogs can also provide support to those who are hearing impaired. They can alert their owners to important sounds in their environment, such as alarms, sirens, horns, doorbells, and the sound of their own name. Once they hear the noise, a hearing support dog will make physical contact with their owner and guide them to the source of the sound.

To learn even more about service dogs and how you can register your emotional support animal, contact us at National Service Animal Registry.

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How Service Dogs Help People with PTSD

According to the American Disabilities Act, or ADA, service animals are those that have been trained to perform certain tasks for a disabled person. These tasks may include physical activity or emotional support. Service dogs are commonly used to help those that are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly referred to as PTSD. These service dogs have been specifically trained to assist someone that has experienced some form of significant trauma. Here are some of the ways that an ESA dog registration can help someone suffering from PTSD.

Provide Security

There are a variety of incidents that could cause someone to suffer from PTSD. If a patient has been a victim of an assault, this could cause them to fear leaving their home. A service dog can serve as both a companion and as security for that person. The existence of a dog may make them feel protected, should they fear that someone might enter their home or approach them. As a victim of assault, they may also fear leaving their home by themselves. A service dog can serve as a companion so that they will never be alone, potentially causing them less stress or fear that something might happen.

Self-Sufficiency

Those suffering from PTSD may find it more difficult to live independently and completing certain tasks, such as taking medication or sleeping through the night. Those that use a service dog tend to take their medication more regularly. Additionally, they sleep better through the night with the assistance of a companion so they function better the next day. The assistance of a service animal with these daily tasks will allow those suffering from PTSD to function better independently.

Greater Coping Skills

The assistance of a service dog can help someone suffering from PTSD cope better with their situation and receive help from others. Dogs that have been trained to help with PTSD have certain behavioral traits that will be observed by the person. The presence of the dog will also force the person suffering from the condition to focus on the animal, as they will be playful and loving. This focus on something other than what has caused their condition will help them become less anxious and more self-sufficient.

Modulate Stress Level and Tone of Voice

PTSD can cause increased stress levels and a change in the tone of voice, potentially making communicating with others a difficult process. When working with a service dog in the comfort of their own home, they will need to reduce stress and use a certain tone of voice in order for the dog to react to their commands. This will allow them to practice adjusting these attributes so that they will know how to control them when associating with other people.

A Loving Companion

A major impact of PTSD is that the person suffering from the condition may be unhappy due to the feeling of isolation, stress, and uneasiness around others. In addition to providing a feeling of security and confidence, a service dog is a loving companion. This will allow the person suffering from PTSD to feel less isolated and happier in their daily life.

Post-traumatic stress disorder can be caused by a variety of factors and be very difficult to overcome. The assistance of a service animal with psychiatric service dog registration will allow that person to be more independent and happier in their daily life. Contact the National Service Animal Registry if you’re looking for a service animal to help with PTSD.

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Train an Emotional Support Dog to Calm Anxiety

Emotional support animals (ESAs)  are known as dependable companions for individuals with emotional or mental disorders. In contrast to service dogs, emotional support dogs don’t need special training and provide physical assistance to disabled people. However, it doesn’t mean that emotional support dogs will be untrained or behave badly. There is no federal law that requires an emotional support dog to receive specific training before registration, a well-behaved and well-trained Emotional Support dog is simply recognized by others, particularly when you travel with it in an aircraft cabin or are looking for new accommodation. If you’re planning to adopt or purchase a dog for emotional support, or if you intend to train your pet dog, you will follow the guidelines below before you start the training.

What Is an Emotional Support dog?

Emotional support dogs are quite different from service dogs when the thing comes to purpose. Instead of helping in physical activities, Emotional Support Animals dogs provide emotional support to their owners. A dog does not have to undergo any special training just to become an Emotional Support dog. However, the dog should be well-behaved and respond better to his handler. With this, it is essential to consider the traits of dogs to ensure that he can perform the job well. Generally, you will need a dog with a laid-back and mellow nature.

Some of your perfect choices include:

  • Border Collie
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Poodle
  • Bulldog
  • Bullmastiff

Now, this does not mean that you cannot get breeds that are not as subdued. You can get a high-spirited dog or one that is full of energy if you need it. There will not be any issue with that as long as you are willing to spend time and effort in training them to behave. Speaking of training, here is what you want to know.

Qualities of Emotional Support Dogs

The features of a puppy depend almost completely on its parents and breed. Few dogs were born aggressive, over-excited or timid, but it doesn’t mean that these imperfect personalities can never become an emotional support dog if they received the training to do so. An about 1-year-old with a calm and responsible personality can start training. It’s also perfect to look for breeds that are more human orientated and eager to learn like Poodles and Golden Retrievers.

Basic Obedience Training

After selecting a dog, you will start the course with obedience training, involving Heel, Sit, Stop, Down, and Come, etc. The sooner you start with these lessons, the easy it will be to train your emotional support dog. Apart from obedience training, going outside to socialize will also be trained to prevent anti-social behavior like begging, barking, lunging or jumping for food.

Emotional Support Dog Training

Various of the people who need an emotional support dog frequently suffer from autism, anxiety, and are susceptible to self-harming behavior for many reasons. Several studies suggest that the presence of a dog aids to calm these patients and reduce the possibility of recurring stressful attacks. In these cases, properly trained, emotional support dogs apply suitable pressure on the body of owners, chest or other body parts depending on the size of the dog. For instance, a little Papillion will lie directly on the chest of owners, but a tall Alaskan Malamute has to place its feet or head across the lap or legs of owners. This method is particularly appropriate for people who suffer from airsickness. Here’s how to teach your dog this skill.

Step 1: Paws Up Command (On The Sofa)

If your dog has to get used to sitting on the sofa, you can need to tempt it with a few tasty treats. The first step is to show your dog the treats, whilst at the same time slow-moving to the sofa and giving the Paws up command. Give it the treat when you’re near the sofa.

Step 2: Repeat The Exercise

The result of the exercise depends on whether your dog is willing to join you on the sofa, so you can need to practice it patiently, particularly with an adult dog. If you’re a little dog, the main goal is to have all 4 paws on the sofa. Whilst it’s like a big breed to place only the front paws or head on the sofa. Repeat this exercise with treats unless it comprehends what this command generally means.

Step 3: Paws Off Command

The next step is to train emotional support dog to take paws away in the paws off command. This procedure wants to reverse the paws up exercise and wants to take your dog off the sofa with the paws off command.

Step 4: Keep Emotional Support Dog On the Sofa

To calm your anxiety, your dog will apply physical pressure to you. In the case of a little dog, it’s perfect to call it to hug you while it’s lying vertically beside your body, with its paws on your shoulder and its head near yours. While a big dog will put its paws on your legs or lap and keep its head down when you’re in a sitting position. After you will say paws up, followed by the command as soon as it sits next to you. Provide the dog a treat after finishing this task and order it to place its paws down. After some time, try to command your emotional support dog without offering it treats to understand that this is a task instead of a reward game.

Conclusion

Having a dog around can relieve your stress. However, if you’re dealing with significant emotional or psychological impairments, an emotional support dog can be an amazing therapeutic treatment. Click here to find out more about qualifying.