What You Need to Do if You Need an Emotional Support Dog

What You Need to Do if You Need an Emotional Support Dog

We all know the great effects that dogs can have on our emotional lives. In some cases, dogs can go one step further, becoming emotional support dogs. If you think that you need an emotional support dog, here’s what you need to do to make that happen.

Understand What an Emotional Support Dog Is

Emotional support dogs give their owners comfort through their presence. They’re not trained to perform specific tasks, like service dogs are, and as such they are not qualified as service dogs. Emotional support dogs are allowed to accompany you in the cabin on planes. They are also allowed to be kept in housing which otherwise prohibits pets, without requiring you to pay an additional pet fee.

Some states and local governments provide additional laws which allow you to bring your emotional support dog into public places where the dog might not otherwise be allowed. However, these laws vary; it’s best to check with your local government to find out the specific rules for emotional support dogs in your area.

Get a Letter From Your Doctor

In order to fly with your dog or to house him in non-pet housing, you will need a letter from a mental health professional which recommends that you have an emotional support dog. There are a variety of mental health conditions which may benefit from the use of an emotional support dog, such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and mood disorders. Your doctor or mental health professional can write you a letter stating that you are under their treatment for a mental health disability, that the disability limits at least one major life activity, and that they prescribe the use of an emotional support dog.

Train Your Dog Appropriately

While emotional support dogs do not need to have the specialized training required of service dogs, it’s still important to train your dog to act properly in public. If you plan on flying with your emotional support dog, then you will need to make sure that he will obey commands to sit, lie down, and stay. It’s also important that your dog does not bark incessantly in public or at home, especially if you’re living in an apartment or other shared living space. A professional dog trainer can help you to train your dog.

Emotional support dogs can make significant differences in the lives of their owners. If you feel that you need an emotional support dog, start by talking with your doctor or mental health professional to find out if they will provide you with a letter. If you need help training your dog, contact us – we’d be happy to help.

Original Source: https://www.bedandbiscuitaustin.com/dog-behavior-training/what-you-need-to-do-if-you-need-an-emotional-support-dog/

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