- 1 What is a service animal? Service animals are a great way to get relief from many different ailments.
- 1.1 This fuzzy form of medical equipment is helping people regain their lives through soothing companionship. This article will detail just what is a service animal.
What is a service animal? Service animals are a great way to get relief from many different ailments.
This fuzzy form of medical equipment is helping people regain their lives through soothing companionship. This article will detail just what is a service animal.
You can check out five reasons why you should use service dogs for anxiety here.
What is a service animal?
A service animal (also called therapy animals or emotional support animals) is an animal that has undergone official training to provide assistance with a visible or non-visible disability.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as an animal that has been trained to perform tasks specific to a person’s disability.
Disabilities can range from physical, sensory, psychiatric or any other metal disability.
There are many different companies where animals can receive training and become certified service animals. There are also businesses that match service animals with new owners.
The most common services animals are dogs, specifically, Seeing Eye dogs for individuals who are blind.
However, services animals serve all sorts of different purposes and dogs are just one type.
You can train monkeys, parrots, hamsters and even miniature horses as service animals! Experiments have even been done using dolphins as therapy animals. However, the results from such tests have proven inconclusive.
Your animal has to meet few standards for legal recognition as a service animal. Things like being housebroken, vaccinated and under your control at all times have to be verified. The laws vary from place to place.
Ailments they can help with
- PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Moderate to severe stress
Different uses in society
Service animals have sometimes been used in colleges to help students deal with stress. Some schools bring puppies for the students to interact with between study sessions.
The calming presence of the animals helps students calm down and release some of their stress, allowing them to go back to their work refreshed.
Service animals are slowly being integrated into hospitals, schools, senior centers, nursing homes, and even libraries!
The difference service animals can make in people’s well-being is not to be underestimated.
People are starting to acknowledge service animals as “agents of socialization”. This is due to the noticeable improvements in cognitive, emotional and social functions that scientists observe in patients.
- Open doors
- Alert to smoke alarm if you are unresponsive
- Bring pre-packed emergency bag
- Guide you in a dark room
- Assist you in exiting the emergency area
How they help emotional issues
- Their calming presence helps to put things in perspective
- A tangible way to disrupt emotional overload
- Aid in dealing with strangers or large crowds
- Arouse from fear paralysis
How to get a service animal
- Find an accredited service animal training school in your area
- Complete course
- Follow regulations outlined in course
- Have appropriate documents properly updated and verified
Flying with your animal
Depending on the airline you may have to pay a fee to fly with your service animal. Some airlines bypass this fee.
Make sure you have all appropriate documentation with you (country entry permits, vaccination certificates, etc.) to make the process easier. Emergency exit seats won’t be assigned to those who bring service animals on board.
Hopefully, this article helped you learn what a service animal is. Service animals can do many things for your health and well-being. They are slowly becoming a more recognized form of therapy.
Share this page with anyone looking for a new, natural way to deal with their health concerns!