A Companion Dog Is A Reliable Friend In The Fight Against Anxiety

A service dog is a companion animal that helps people with physical or mental disability. For mental impairments, the dog can provide a sense of peace, anticipate anxiety attacks, and even receive medications for the owner. The best known companion animals are guide dogs, which help people with visual impairments. However, they can help a person with a variety of medical conditions. For example, anxiety, diabetes and depression.

Psychiatric dogs

A psychiatric dog is a companion animal that helps a person suffering from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or other mental illness. All companion dogs must undergo special training, and be legally certified. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), such an animal can accompany the owner anywhere – from restaurants to airplanes.

Psychiatric service dogs help people with various mental illnesses and deviations, mental disorders. They are two types:

Autism Service Dogs are assistance dogs for people with autism. Meaning, they help people to socialize, gain independence and the ability to carry out daily activities.

PTSD Service Dogs are assistance dogs for people with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Also it includes service dogs for panic attacks. In the event of stressful situations and panic attacks in its owner, the dog “brings him back to reality”, helping to escape from the stressful situation.

Training Dogs

Dogs are trained to perform specific tasks based on the needs of the individual. Psychiatric dogs are trained to:

  • identify signs of anxiety before it occurs;
  • attract people to help a person who is in danger;
  • Also, calm a person during a panic attack through distraction;
  • fetch the phone during an attack;
  • remind the person to take the medication at a specific time;
  • conduct safety checks for people with PTSD, for example, turning on the light.

Also, having a companion dog creates the following benefits:

  • Exercise stress. Physical activity has a beneficial effect on mental health.
  • Walking your dog means spending time outdoors, which can be difficult for people who are anxious or depressed. Therefore, the time spent outdoors has a beneficial effect on the psyche, and the resulting vitamin D improves a person’s mood.
  • Companionship. Dogs are very loving and friendly pets. Their presence reduces a person’s feeling of loneliness.

Interaction with pets can reduce the level of cortisol. Similarly, this is one of the main stress hormones in the human body. For instance, it may help lowering blood pressure and decreasing heart rate.

States have a certification system for dogs depending on what functions the pet has to perform. In addition to just being a loved member of the family.

Likewise, for each type and purpose, the dog must undergo certain training. However, this is not always necessary and has little to do with the accepted courses of obedience or protection.

Certifications

CGC (Canine Good Citizen) certificate is an indicator of a dog’s suitability for living in densely populated areas. Meaning, it is an indicator of a healthy, balanced psyche of a four-legged friend.

In fact, the entire test is performed on a leash. To obtain this certificate, a lot is required:

– the dog must be able to sit, lie or stand in a waiting situation. For example, when the owner goes to a cafe to eat, sits on a bench in the park to read a book, stands in line at the checkout and not be distracted by strangers. Likewise, not to be startled by sounds and noise, which are usual in such places

– Likewise, the dog must walk on a sagging leash in normal everyday situations (not in the ring), turn to the right, left, stop, and match changes in speed

– calmly overcome obstacles in the form of a crowd of people and people with dogs. Also, should not make attempts to pull towards the dogs and be distracted from the handler;

– calmly remain in place in a small group of people. For instance, three people with dogs – a scenario of meeting acquaintances on the street is simulated. Importantly, they should not attempt to communicate with other dogs or people;

Additionally..

– the dog should allow a person who has a large or unusual object in his hands to stroke him. Also, not react with suspicion or fear to the object;

– the dog should not react to food on the floor or should obey the command “no”;

– Also, must demonstrate waiting while standing or lying at a certain distance from the handler (e.g. entering a store or public toilet);

– respond to a call in an environment with a high saturation of stimuli (people, dogs, skateboarders, cyclists, etc.);

– demonstrate good approach to the handler through a narrow passage (doorway, narrow forest path, stairs).

In conclusion, this is a test for the basic skills of a dog in the world of people, which are achieved by training in society (so-called socialization).

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We hope you found this blog post A Companion Dog Is A Reliable Friend In The Fight Against Anxiety useful. Be sure to check out our post How Do You Help Dogs Adjust to Moving? for more great tips!


A Companion Dog Is A Reliable Friend In The Fight Against Anxiety

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