Archive for the ‘Emotional Support Animal’ Category

A person suffering from anxiety attacks experience many risks, and it’s one of the reasons why it’s prudent to consider having a service dog or emotional support animal as a companion. The animal can keep the environment safer for the individual and below are some of the ways a dogs can calm anxiety:

1) Dogs can predict panic attacks

Because of their acute senses, dogs can recognize that a person is about to experience a panic or anxiety attack. If a service dog is trained to provide assistance for psychiatric disorders, it can intervene in the situation before any untoward incident happens. The pet will nudge or bark at his handler or owner even before the attacks happen, and they will not stop unless the handler listens.

2) Dogs have a calming and relaxing presence.

Even the ones that aren’t trained to be service dogs draw the same calming effect. A study has determined that a dog’s presence has some sort of healing effect. A person’s heart rate and blood pressure lowers whenever they are around dogs to either touch or keep the company.

Another study revealed that dogs can unleash happy hormones in a person, thus reducing stress levels that could trigger anxiety.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

3) Dogs ground you during an anxiety attack.

A person experiencing bouts of anxiety attacks could temporary lose focus as panic sets in, but a psychiatric service dog will keep him grounded, so that he can get a grip of his situation. Some service dogs are trained to facilitate deep pressure therapy, where the dogs can settle their body on the person’s chest to help him calm him down. Certain panic attacks can put the person at risk of hurting himself or damaging property, when this can be avoided or reduced with the dog’s presence.

4) Dogs alert your loved-one or other humans.

If a person is having an attack, a well-trained service dog can let another human know so that the matter can immediately be given attention. They can look for that person for help, or they can also be relied upon to find their master’s phone so that he can call for help.

Overview

If you have an emotional disability, you can legally qualify for an ESA, short for an emotional support animal. You must have documentation of an emotional or mental disability from a psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, or other duly licensed and/or certified mental health professional. This certification should be a formal and appropriately formatted letter, known as an ESA Letter.

To qualify for an Emotional Support Animal, your ESA letter must be written on the mental health professional’s letterhead, including their license type, date of the license, license number, the state of the license, and the date the letter was written.

What the Letter Must Contain

Your ESA letter must contain some details which will inform your landlord that:

You are a current patient of the signing mental health professional You have a mental disability that is covered by the Fair Housing Act Your disability substantially limits you in performing or participating in at least one  major life activity An Emotional Support Animal is an integral part of relieving symptoms of your current condition

It is recommended that the ESA letter be no older than a year.

What Disorders Qualify You as An Emotional Support Animal Owner

Some conditions that qualify for an ESA letter include:

Depression Anxiety PTSD Panic Disorders Learning disorders Attention Deficit Disorder Tourette’s syndrome and tic disorders Motor skill disorders Bipolar disorder Dysphorias and dysmorphias Emotional Support Animal Training

Unlike service animals, ESAs are not required to be trained to perform a service for their handlers. Your current pet may already be serving as your emotional support animal. To achieve official recognition, however, you must have an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional.

See if you qualify for an Emotional Support Animal letter by clicking the link below.