Many people gain some benefits from owning a service dog. Service dogs are usually specifically trained to perform a task or work. These dogs help those with disabilities, such as blindness, deafness, mobility issues and more. Service dogs may also be trained to help their owners cope with certain mental health conditions, including PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Service dogs are often adopted to assist individuals with PTSD, as they can be trained to alert their owners of sudden noises, provide physical support and more. The training of service dogs to handle people with PTSD is highly specialized and takes months to complete. As such, there are many organizations and individuals who have been involved in the training of service dogs for those with PTSD.
How Service Dogs Can Help
While many service dogs are trained to assist those with disabilities, some are also trained to help their owners cope with PTSD. These dogs may be trained to alert their owners of sudden noises or other traumatic events, provide physical support and more. A service dog can be trained to alert their owner of sudden noises, such as the sound of a door slamming or a loud bang. This can be helpful for those with PTSD who have auditory hallucinations, which are sometimes triggered by loud noises. Service dogs can also provide physical support and comfort for those with PTSD.
Individuals diagnosed with PTSD may need a companion to assist them in everyday life. With service dogs, they can learn to cope with everyday life situations and maintain their mental health.
Difference Between Service Dogs and ESAs
There are many times where people mistakenly assume that service dogs and emotional support animals (ESAs) are one and the same. It is true that they have a lot of similarities, and both are considered as assistance animals. However, there are some clear differences between the two.
The most obvious difference is that service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks for their owners, whereas ESAs are trained to provide comfort and companionship. In fact, it is obligatory for service dogs to go through intensive training, whereas ESAs do not need to be trained at all. Furthermore, service dogs often need to wear certain vests or badges to distinguish themselves from regular pets. The same requirement does not apply to emotional support animals.
How to Get a PTSD Service Dog
It is important to note that service dogs for PTSD are not for everyone. First of all, it is highly recommended that the person who wants a service dog be fully aware of his or her condition. In addition, he or she must have documentation to prove this diagnosis.
You need to meet up with your healthcare provider or a licensed mental health professional. They will help you fill out the application form, and also prescribe you with a service dog, stating that it will actually benefit your condition. If you’re trying to train your pet to become a service dog for PTSD, be aware that the training can take at least half a year to complete, depending on the program and organization. The process is lengthy and requires a lot of patience. However, it is well worth it.