By Charlie Brown
Everyone in this life needs companionship and emotional closeness to someone. While this is possible through day-to-day interactions and relationships, there are special circumstances where an individual might have a disorder that calls for more emotional support.
According to the U.S CDC, over 61.5 million people will suffer from a mental or emotional disability this year. While these people still have family and friends to help them, an emotional support animal(ESA) will also come in handy to keep them company throughout the day. If you or a loved one is suffering from any form of mental or emotional condition, it is important to learn more about emotional support dogs and how having one can help improve quality of life.
What’s An Emotional Support Dog?
An emotional support dog provides comfort and support through companionship and affection. If you love dogs, you must have seen how close they are to the ones who care for them. This is the same quality that is tapped to find an emotional support dog.
The relationship between man and dogs goes a long way back in history. In fact, a recent archeological discovery found a 12,000-year-old human skeleton with a hand resting on the skeleton of a wolf pup. This love between man and dogs is now being utilized to help people suffering some health conditions.
If you are looking for an emotional support dog, is it important to differentiate between service dog certification emotional support certification. For a start, service dogs are trained to carry out some tasks for people suffering from a disability. An emotional dog on the other hand does not require any form of training. It could be your family pet which just gets the certification to become an emotional dog.
Emotional Support Dog Certification
Unlike a service dog certification, here intense training is required; your emotional dog certification relies on you. All you have to do is prove that you have a medical condition whose negative symptoms can be minimized through the company of your dog. This involves undertaking a mental medical test which must be done by a certified mental health profession. Your doctor will give a letter of recommendation to prove that your dog is essential for better health.
Among the mental and emotional conditions that an emotional support dog can help with include:
· Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
· Mood disorder
· Panic attacks
· Bipolar disorder
· Suicidal Thoughts/Tendencies
ESAs are recognized by different laws as an integral part in the treatment of these conditions. The Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) and Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) recognize the need for ESAs in residential properties and during air travel for individuals suffering from these conditions. You should not be discriminated in any way just because you have an ESA with you. No extra fees should be charged by your landlord or during air travel because of your emotional support dog.
Registering your emotional support dog with the National Service Animal Registry (NSAR) will legitimize the dog as part of your life. So, do you or a loved one need an emotional support dog? The process is now easier because you can take a medical test online.