If you think that you would benefit from an emotional support dog, know there are great resources to assist you
We’re all familiar with both service and emotional support dogs. Many people think they are the same, but they each cater to very specific needs depending on the person they are helping.
While service dogs are specially trained to perform tasks for their owner or help someone with a disability, emotional support dogs provide therapeutic benefits through both companionship and affection.
If you think that you would benefit from an emotional support dog, there are great resources that provide you with a step-by-step process for how to register your animal. If you’re still unsure that an emotional support dog is right for you, learn about the following 5 benefits to help you decide.
First and foremost, having an emotional support dog will provide you with companionship. Many people who live alone find great comfort in having an emotional support dog. It doesn’t matter why you are suffering; an emotional support animal can help you overcome trauma and continue your routine.
Just remember that you will need an official letter that has been approved by a certified mental health professional, but the emotional need for companionship is certainly a valid reason for starting the process.
2 – Decrease Your Stress Levels
With companionship from your emotional support dog, your stress levels will naturally decrease. Of course, if you normally struggle with your stress levels, this doesn’t necessarily mean your stress will completely go away. However, it’s proven that owning an animal lowers stress levels.
Studies show that when people spend time with their dogs, it results in bringing down both high blood pressure and cortisol levels. This would be particularly helpful for someone who struggles to go out in public. With the proper credentials, you are able to take your emotional service dog with you in most places. You never have to worry about being alone, knowing that your animal is right with you.
3 – Reduce Anxiety and Depression
One of the most common reasons that someone would need an emotional support dog is that they struggle with anxiety and/or depression. Having support in any form is very beneficial for someone who finds themselves struggling with issues like these.
For some, anxiety and/or depression affects day-to-day activities and the ability to commit to a schedule. However, owning a dog makes us happier. It’s the support that some need to go outside and live fully.
4 – Prevent Panic Attacks
Along the same lines as reducing anxiety, depression, and stress, another reason would be to prevent and treat panic attacks. Depending on how severe they are, it might be impossible to prevent panic attacks altogether. However, it’s shown that people who suffer from panic attacks recover quickly when they have an emotional support dog. This isn’t considered a “cure” necessarily, but it does tend to help in a significant way.
5 – Cope with PTSD
One of the more intense illnesses on this list is PTSD. A person can have PTSD for all kinds of reasons; the most example is a soldier returning from war. While these cases do make up a large portion of people struggling with PTSD, it’s not necessarily the only cause. Many people who have gone through a traumatic event, or even just witnessed one, find themselves suffering from PTSD.
Much like having anxiety, PTSD can be triggered by everyday surroundings. Because you can take an emotional support dog almost everywhere, it’s very helpful for those struggling with this illness to have that support in case they are triggered. An animal keeps those with PTSD grounded, comforted, and in control.