How to Train a Service Dog for Anxiety and Depression
by Pet Qwerks Toys on May 5, 2019
There are two types of service dogs. On one side are the dogs of assistance. They help blind people or warn of upcoming attacks of epilepsy so that their owners can put their medicines. There are also emotional support animals.
These have the task of taking care of the mental health of their owners. The work of the second is to help reduce the anxiety levels of people in some situations. The travel on a plane, for example, can cause stress in some passengers.
Those who have phobia of height, to mention a case, can benefit from one of these dogs. “It goes beyond having the pleasure of your pet traveling with you,” says Gabriel Carrion, a dog behavior specialist. The dog must meet very strict parameters and the owner’s need must be real.
People who need emotional support dogs
Mental health and psychologist of children and adults, recommends having a pet to those who have problems of anxiety, depression or difficulty in controlling anger. “The dog gives you unconditional love and empathy, which are the basic needs that people and animals have,” says the specialist. In the case of a child with Asperger’s, an autism spectrum disorder, the pet can be taught to stop the attitude violent that the patient may have.
If the child is frustrated and begins to hit his head with his hand, the dog will recognize this behavior and will use his paw to lower the child’s hand. When he feels the pressure of the dog, he stops and also feels protected and accompanied.
In the case of people with agoraphobia, or fear of leaving a safe area such as home, the dog comes to replace a family member. “He fulfills lack of solitude, they come to treat the pet as if he were part of his family or intimate support group.
The patient has so much confidence in the animal that he can leave the house and not feel alone. Post-traumatic stress cases also benefit from service dogs. According to the specialist there are studies that show that people discharge stress and anxiety in the animal through touch and hugs. Because the animal is docile, people absorb this tranquility.
The preparation of dogs.
The qualification of the dog has several stages. To ensure that the animal will not be a risk to the safety of the flight, the dog must have training in obedience. Must be able to fulfill orders like ‘quiet’, ‘sitting’, ‘quiet’, ‘come’. In this way, if the passenger must go to the bathroom during the flight, the animal can remain in its place without moving. And this is possible through dog training collar. Another requirement is that the pet is sociable. This is achieved with training.
To travel with an emotional support dog you need to comply with a documentation. This includes a certificate from a psychologist or psychiatrist that indicates the person’s need to have an emotional support dog. It must be on letterhead, with professional contact numbers.
This way the airline can confirm the information before the trip. Also, it is necessary to cover all the requirements for any pet that travels in or out of the country. This includes vaccination, use of a microchip, having an antibody certificate of rabies in the blood plasma (for destinations in Europe) and authorizations of exit from the country by national authorities.
The necessary requirements
Depending on the airline, you must notify the trip with some anticipation. They are generally accepted 48 hours in advance, although the longer it is, the easier it will be for the staff to accommodate the passenger and their pet.
Another option is to access a certificate issued by an international authority that includes the photograph, names and data of the animal and its owner. This guarantees to the airlines that the dog will have a good behavior on the flight.
An emotional support dogs are not service dogs. Service dogs are those that are specifically trained to do a certain task their owner cannot do on their own. An emotional support animal does not need specific training such as guide dogs or police dogs. They only need a basic training to be able to respond when their owner calls them and it is vital that they are sociable or at least not aggressive with other people and other animals. This part is very important, if your pet does not know how to behave in pubic you will not be able to take it with you and instead of helping you for sure it will only give you more anxiety and headaches if there is an incident.
In the United States, emotional support animals are recognized by law and you can certify your pet so you can rent or live anywhere even if they have an anti-pet policy. This certification makes it clear that it is not your pet, but your help to overcome an emotional problem.
In order to register your pet all you need is a letter from your doctor explaining that you need your pet by your side as it helps you with an emotional or mental health problem and sign accepting that your dog has basic training.
If you live in the United States, with your doctor’s letter you can go to one of the following sites and register your pet so that they send you a credential that can be used to identify you in places where they ask you if you are an emotional support dog (like a plane).
National Service Animal Registry NSARCO
Likewise, if you do not live in the United States but have plans to fly with your dog, take the doctor’s letter with you so you can prove that your pet is an emotional support animal.
If you plan to travel with your dog, Interject accepts emotional support animals in the cabin so they can go on adventures together and do not be afraid to fly alone.
Mike Stiven is a pet lover & passionate blogger. I love to write about pet. I started this blog to provide advance materials for choosing the right products for your dog.