How to Get a Service Dog for Anxiety

In this article, titled “How to get a service dog for anxiety,” we will present criteria for getting a service dog, discuss what service dogs are, how they can help, the service dog breeds, and you will learn what emotional support animals are.

Criteria How to Get a Service Dog for Anxiety

You must fulfill some criteria to qualify for a service dog for anxiety. It may include:

  • Having a physical disability or psychiatric condition,
  • Being able to participate in the training of the dog,
  • Being able to manage and care for a service dog independently,
  • Loving dogs,
  • Finances to maintain a dog,
  • Having a stable home environment.

Having anxiety does not qualify a person with a disability.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, only six percent of people diagnosed with mental illness are qualified as mentally ill.

A note from your doctor that you need a dog to perform specific tasks is what you need if you plan to transport your dog on an airplane.

Service vests, tags, or registration certificates do not provide legal evidence of a service animal.

What are Service Dogs?

Service dogs are companions and helpers for people with disabilities.

They offer practical and emotional support to people with physical or mental health difficulty, which includes people with visual impairment, hearing impairment, or impaired mobility.

Many people are familiar with this serving animal. 

These dogs can be helpful for people with invisible illnesses as well — for example, diabetes, or mental conditions like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

To be legally recognized as service animals, dogs are trained to perform tasks that can help people with a disability.

Depending on the needs of a person, it can mean bringing a person to medicines during a crisis to find help in emergency medical care, or some other help.

The most popular service dogs are guide dogs that are trained to assist people with visual impairments.

How a service dog for anxiety helps

A service dog for anxiety helps a person with a disability by:

  • Detecting the signs of anxiety before it shows up,
  • Not letting strangers approach the person with anxiety,
  • Bringing water or medication during an anxiety attack,
  • Calming the person with anxiety by licking his/her face, or giving a paw,
  • Submitting deep pressure therapy to calm the person during anxiety attacks,
  • Saving the phone during anxiety attacks,
  • Reminding the person to take medicine at the specific hours of the day,
  • Turning the lights on for people with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), as well as providing safety checks of rooms.

According to a study, having a pet dog can reduce the risk of anxiety in children.

Besides, dogs are an excellent company: they are loyal, and they love their owner; being with a dog can reduce the feeling of loneliness.

Emotional Support Animals

Many people who struggle with anxiety disorders may not qualify to get a service dog.

Nevertheless, for them may be helpful to get an emotional support animal (ESA).

Some people think that service animals and emotional support animals are the same; it is not so, however.

The law considers emotional support animals as pets; however, people may get great support from ESAs.

ESAs are animals that can be “prescribed” by a medical professional to support a person with mental or physical difficulty or disability.

Although emotional support animals do not have the same legal protections as service animals, they have some protections too, for example, they are liberated from no-pet housing rules.

What are the Service Dog Breeds?

Independent from the breed, any dog can be trained to become a service dog.

The significant thing is the dog’s characteristics and abilities to complete the training.

Below you can find some dog breeds that can become good service dogs:

  • Huskies,
  • German shepherds,
  • Labrador retrievers,
  • Boxers,
  • Poodles.

Service dogs are expensive because their training itself is expensive. “Little Angels Service Dogs” claims that many service dog organizations in the US spend 30-40.000$ per trained dog.

Because of it, some people prefer to train the dog themselves with a certified trainer’s help.

Recommended books and sources

  1. HFNE “Dog Depression”
  2. HFNE “I Hate Dogs”
  3. PTSD and Service Dogs: A Training Guide for Sufferers 
  4. Training Your Own Full Potential Psychiatric Service Dog (Book 2): Training Psychiatric Service Dogs – PTSD, Anxiety Disorders, and Depression
  5. Training Your Own Full Potential Service Dog: Step by Step Instructions with 30 Day Intensive Training Program to Get You Started
  6. Video “How to Train a PTSD Anxiety Alert for Service Dogs or Interrupt Self Harm Behaviors”
  7. Video “Psychiatric Service Dog | Anxiety & Panic Attacks.”
  8. Video “What does a Psychiatric Service Dog do?”

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

FAQs about the topic “How to Get a Service Dog for Anxiety.”

Do I qualify for a service dog for anxiety?

To know if you qualify for a service dog for anxiety, you must fulfill some criteria, which may include:

– Having a physical disability or psychiatric condition,

– Being able to participate in the training of the dog,

– Being able to manage and care for a service dog independently,

– Loving dogs,

– Finances to maintain a dog,

– Having a stable home environment.

How do you train a service dog for anxiety?

To train a service dog for anxiety, you should:

– Choose the right puppy for the training (that is social, follows, does not get afraid quickly, and alert),

– Determine the service dog’s job (to guide the training, you need to determine what you want and need your dog to do for you),
Start necessary training skills (such as go, come, sit, stay, and some others),

– Work on public access skills (help your dog become accustomed to ),

– Individual response training (for example, if you hug your dog tightly when you feel anxious or stressed, can help you calm down, and teach the dog to learn your “tell” sign).

How much does a service dog cost for anxiety?

Research showed that the average price of a service dog for anxiety is 20-30.000$.

A service dog for anxiety can be expensive because the training itself is expensive (according to the “Little Angels Service Dogs,” many service dog organizations in the US spend 30-40.000$ per a trained dog). 

How do you qualify for an emotional support animal?

To qualify for an emotional support animal, you must be certified by a certified mental health professional as emotionally disabled.

Can I get a service dog for anxiety attacks?

You can get a service dog for anxiety attacks, as these dogs can be helpful for people with both: visible and invisible illnesses (such as diabetes or mental conditions like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder).

What is the best service dog for anxiety?

Several dog breeds can be considered the best service dogs:

– Huskies,

– German shepherds,

– Labrador retrievers,

– Boxers,

– Poodles.

How to Get a Service Dog for Anxiety

Conclusion

Summarizing the article “How to get a service dog for anxiety,” we can say that to get a service dog for anxiety, you need to fulfill some specific criteria.

About service dogs, we learned that they are companions and helpers for people with disabilities.

Service dogs offer practical and emotional support to people with physical or mental health difficulties.

It includes people with visual impairment, hearing impairment, or impaired mobility.

To be legally recognized as service animals, dogs are trained to perform tasks that can help people with a disability.

Depending on the needs of a person, it can mean bringing a person to medicines during a crisis to find help in emergency medical care, or some other help.

The most popular service dogs are guide dogs that are trained to assist people with visual impairments.

Because training dogs may be too expensive for you, you can try to train a dog yourself with the support of a certified trainer.

Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below.

What we recommend for curbing Anxiety

Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety

Anxiety Weighted Blankets

  • Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.

Online Therapy

  • Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.

Anxiety Course

  • With over 50,000 participants, this anxiety course may be just what you need to regain control of your life.

Light Therapy

  • Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night.  An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.

References

  1. Can service dogs help with anxiety?

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