It is for no reason a dog is called a ‘man’s best friend’
Dogs are one of the first animals in the history of the animal kingdom to be domesticated and kept at homes as pets. And the reason why dogs were chosen as one of the first animals to be domesticated is their natural friendly nature towards humans.
Not only that, once they get to know the person, they love them unconditionally, provide them with extreme care, long to get their attention, play with them, and can sacrifice their lives to protect their master.
A study has proven the amount of happiness a dog can give, hardly anything or anyone else can give to a person. People who have dogs at home are eager to leave the office and go home because they know that their furry friend is waiting to shower his love and affection through his licks, cuddles, and wagging his tail.
And as master give his dog his share of belly rubs and petting. The bond between a dog and its owner is truly indefinable.
What are emotional support dogs?
There are medical cases where people need special emotional support due to various situations that they go through. There comes a time when they lack mental presence as well. In such cases, having a pet can make things easier. The dog’s presence can help them to function better.
Not only that, it can help reduce anxiety, stress and provide emotional support. In other words, pets can help such people deal with their daily life challenges, and therefore these dogs are called ‘Emotional Support Dogs’.
As mentioned before, a dog and its owner share a close bond. Hence, their affection is unquestionable and beyond words. Dogs of all breeds provide the same love, care, affection, and loyalty to their respective owners. However, to be legally certified as an emotional support dog, a certain number of procedures need to be followed.
The dog has to be certified first by a team of mental health professionals. This team includes professionals like psychologists, psychiatrists, and a therapist. Emotional support dogs provide a lot of warmth, comfort, and affection through their companionship.
Therefore, these dogs can ease a lot of anxiety and panic disorders that the person may be suffering from. These dogs can range from any breed to size or color. They will do all that it takes to give comfort to their anxiety-stricken owner.
Many people might have this question in mind that this is something that every service dog does. Then what special do the emotional support dogs do? Well, there are a few differences to be explained now.
Service dogs come specially trained for the job. Hence, they perform tasks for people who are physically impaired. These canines are legally permitted to be accompanied by their owners almost everywhere. Hence, these are not what emotional support dogs do.
The support dogs never come trained to perform any tasks. The prime duty of psychiatric service dogs or therapy dogs is to provide emotional comfort and support to their owners who suffer from various mental issues.
Registration for Emotional Support Dogs
Many dog owners have this wrong idea that they need to get a separate registration for their dogs to be labeled or considered emotional support dogs. They probably want to get the registration done to enjoy the perks given to the emotional support dog owners. Well, it is not really how this works.
There is no such registration for emotional support dogs. And the companies that advertise themselves to get your dog registered as simply fraudulent companies, and all they want is your money. Ensure you do not fall for their trap and end up being duped.
All that is required is an ESA letter from the professionals from the mental health department to label your dog as an emotional support dog, better known as a companion dog.
How to get an Emotional Support Dog?
There is no particular procedure for getting an emotional support dog. The dog you have can be tagged as an emotional support dog. The only thing required is the above-mentioned ESA letter from mental health professionals. And if you do not own one, you can go down to your local animal shelter and adopt a beautiful canine of your choice.
Adopted dogs show love from the beginning. As they know they had once been abandoned, and you have come into their lives as their angel to give them a place in your home, and your heart. Unlike service dogs or therapy dogs, emotional support dogs do not require special training.
However, you can go ahead and teach your dog certain basic manners. You can hire a trainer to get him well-trained to know when his help is needed. For instance, if you are suffering a panic attack or an anxiety disorder, the dog can understand the symptoms and do the needful.
Apart from these, there is no such special training required. The bond shared between the owner, and his dog will be more than enough to keep stress and anxiety in control. Below-mentioned is the list of mental disabilities that require the assistance of emotional support dogs.
They include A) Depression, B) Social Phobia, C) Social Anxiety Disorder, D) Bipolar Disorder, E) Panic Disorder, F) Post-traumatic stress disorder, G) Obsessive-compulsive disorder, H) General phobia.
Breeds that prove to be the best emotional support dog
Any dog that possesses the ability to be extremely patient, gentle, caring, and extra observant can qualify to be an emotional support dog. But if you have to choose the breeds best suited for this position, they are the Golden Retriever, Labrador retriever, Irish wolfhound, German shepherd, and The Great Pyrenees.