Emotional support dogs are an important part of many lives. Not only can they provide constant companionship and comfort, but they have been proven to alleviate the impact of mental crises. Below are how emotional service dogs can help with anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
It is estimated that 31% of the American population experiences or develops an anxiety disorder. Anxiety manifests in different ways- many people report withdrawing socially and developing panic and anxiety attacks.
While many turn to medication or therapy, an astoundingly helpful tool in fighting anxiety is an emotional support dog. Emotional support dogs alleviate anxiety by being a calming presence- which for many, encourages them to go outside or go into stores. Emotional support dog training can include being taught how to intervene and help if you begin to have an anxiety or panic attack.
1 in 4 people in America will develop depression. When fighting depression, many become so exhausted that they can no longer care for themselves. As with anxiety, many people with depression turn to medications and specific therapy such as cognitive behavior therapy. However, emotional support dogs have been shown to continuously improve the quality of life for those with depression. Having a dog to care for can foster a sense of purpose, encourage movement, and aid in leaving the house.
There are a lot of misconceptions about PTSD; 6 percent of the American population will have or currently has PTSD. It can be caused by any traumatic event- including serving in the armed forces, any form of assault or abuse, or accidents.
Many with PTSD have begun utilizing a form of therapy called EMDR or medication. However, many people with PTSD experience symptoms that can be helped immensely by an emotional support dog. Emotional support dog training for PTSD may include teaching your dog how to:
- Intervene in times of stress.
- Prevent and stop panic attacks.
- Calm you during night terrors.
- Recenter and reground you.
- Foster a sense of safety.
What About Therapy or Medication?
Emotional support dogs work great when also used with therapy or medication. While medication and therapy are great, many find the process of trying out medications to be tiring or expensive. Similarly, many face long wait times or high costs for therapy. This isn’t meant to discourage you! We believe emotional support dogs can be used in a well-rounded recovery plan with therapy and medication- emotional support dogs even make going to the store to pick up medication or talking about a hard subject in therapy easier and more manageable. Emotional support dogs promote a long-term alleviation of anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
Can My Dog Be Trained to Be An Emotional Support Animal?
Yes. Each dog can sense emotions. It is through having specific emotional support dog training that your best friend can become your emotional support dog. Your emotional support dog can be trained for specific tasks, such as intervening with self-harm or even reminding you to take medication on time.
Your emotional support dog will serve you their whole life, which is why it’s important to ensure you have a dog you have a strong bond with. At Fetch and More, we know how important that bond is. Our emotional support training services for dogs are highly detailed; with them, you receive a lifetime guarantee and unlimited support for the dog’s life. We are well prepared to provide our dog training services for anxiety support to your furry friend.