2020 has been a hard time for dog lovers. COVID has made it difficult to take care of them, be it getting to the vet for treatments or even adopting one in the first place. And the stress it’s putting on their owners isn’t great for them either.
But for all of the disruptions, there’s still a great way to get a dog to love and support you. Service dogs have been considered an essential service by the federal government. This makes it fully possible to get a dog to help you through these trying times.
Let’s take a look at the process, and a few of the many benefits a canine friend can bring you.
The Benefits of Service Dogs
Service dogs have been a great option for a long time. And now, with all the restrictions in place to fight the pandemic, it’s one of the easiest ways to acquire an animal.
Service dogs are provided to those who have some kind of physical, mental, or emotional need that the dog can meet. One of the most obvious examples would be a seeing-eye dog for people who suffer from blindness. But these aren’t the only examples.
Emotional support animals have been shown to have positive effects on people suffering from a wide variety of problems or conditions. People with bipolar disorder, clinical depression, and chronic anxiety are eligible for a service dog. Studies have shown that they work wonders in helping to manage these issues.
Service dogs have also been shown to be highly beneficial in the management of autism, particularly in children. They help provide emotional support, and a comforting atmosphere.
How to Get a Service Dog
Acquiring a service dog is a more complicated and involved process than simply adopting a dog. Emotional support alone does not qualify the dog as a service animal. Instead, it has to be trained in some way that actively aids in the management of a disability, illness, or other condition.
Physical examples of this, such as support dogs for people with blindness, or people who suffer from seizures, are the most well known. Nowadays, it is also possible to qualify for a service dog for mental health reasons.
A clinical diagnosis of conditions such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or PTSD qualifies you for a service animal. However, a clinical diagnosis of the condition is often a prerequisite for obtaining a service animal.
Service Dogs Make Perfect Companions
Service dogs are wonderful companions and a great choice for many people. They have been shown time and time again to provide help to people struggling with all kinds of illnesses, disabilities, and other issues. They provide comfort, stability, and a sense of relief. In these trying times, we could all use that.
So if you’re struggling, and feel that a service animal could help you, see about adopting an animal as a service dog. Or, if you already own a dog, look into registering them as a service animal.