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Find answers to common questions pet owners have about Emotional Support Animals (ESA)
There are many disabilities that may qualify you to have a service dog. The most familiar examples are a blind person's need for a seeing-eye dog or a hearing-impaired person's need for an alert dog. There are MANY other common examples, including a person with balance issues (occasional dizziness, etc.) and his/her need for a dog to stabilize its handler, or a person with PTSD who benefits from a psychiatric service dog to provide medication reminders and lay across its handler to provide deep pressure therapy during panic attacks.
Yes, you can train your own dog. There are no requirements for who trains your dog. The only requirement is that your dog is trained to help you perform a major life task that you have difficulty performing or can't perform yourself. Many people train their own pets or have a local trainer help them with the training.
Service animals are dogs that are trained to perform tasks and to do work to ease their handlers' disabilities. They work as part of a team with their disabled partners to help their handler achieve safety and independence. Hearing dogs help alert deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to important sounds, mobility dogs assist individuals who use wheelchairs, walking devices, and who have balance issues, and guide dogs help blind and visually impaired individuals navigate their environments. Medical alert dogs signal the onset of a medical issue, such as a seizure or low blood sugar, alert the handler to the presence of allergens, and other functions.
Service dogs can be any breed and any size. It is very common to see very small breeds trained as alert and medical assistance dogs.
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