Everyone experiences stress and anxiety at one point or another, but a large portion of individuals suffer from severe anxiety that affects their quality of life. As a matter of fact, anxiety disorders affect an estimated 40 million adults in the United States. For many individuals living with anxiety, getting through each day requires prescription medication. These medications are effective in some instances, but they can cause numerous side effects. Thankfully, alternative treatments are available.
Service dogs are most commonly certified for individuals with a physical disability, such as blindness or a mobility impairment. However, dogs can also be trained and certified to help patients with certain psychological disorders. If you are interested in a different type of therapy for your anxiety, use this guide to help you determine if a service dog is right for you.
How Service Dogs Can Help
You may be wondering how a service dog can help you cope with your anxiety disorder. While surprising, dogs can be trained to perform a variety of tasks, including the following:
If one or more of the above tasks seem beneficial to you and your needs, a service dog may be right for you.
The Breed Matters
It is important to note that certain dog breeds are more capable than others. Breeds that are smart, reliable, and strong are ideal. They should also have an "aim-to-please" temperament, meaning they are easy to train, want to learn, and have a strong desire to please their masters.
A standard poodle and a Labrador retriever are both known to be one of the best breeds to train as a psychiatric service dog. Not only are they smart and easy to train, but they are also affectionate and friendly, which is helpful when out in public environments.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Lhasa Apso are also top breeds for psychiatric service dogs. Again, they are smart and loyal, but these breeds are smaller in size. This smaller size allows you to bring your service dog around town running daily errands or during your travels.
Training Requires a Commitment
Another important thing you should know if you are considering a service dog for your anxiety is that training and certification requires a commitment in time and energy.
You will first need a recommendation from a doctor before beginning the process to acquire a service dog that is already trained. More and more people are choosing to train their own dogs, as well. If you want to train your own dog to become a service dog, you must work with a training professional that specialize service dogs.
Before they receive their service dog certification, the service dog will need to be trained in your specific disability and the required skills that are needed when having access to the public. Your service dog will also need to be trained and certified with basic house skills that will benefit you, your home, and even public places.
Living with an anxiety disorder is possible, but it will affect your daily life. As an alternative to or in addition to the use of prescription medications, a service dog can be helpful. With this guide, you will learn a few important factors about service dogs for anxiety disorders.
What do you feed your dog? Does your dog have digestive problems? Is his coat beginning to lose its shine? What you feed your dog matters. Instead of going to the store and picking up the cheapest bag of food you can find, it is important that you stop and read the label to find out what ingredients are used to make the dog food. Go to my site to find out what ingredients that you should never give your dog in his food and to learn what ingredients are essential for optimum health and beautiful fur. Hopefully, what you learn will help your dog look and feel his best for many years.