Wednesday, 26/7/2017 | 12:27 UTC+0

What is an emotional support dog?

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All-time animal companion

As the saying goes, ‘Dogs are a man’s best friend’. When it comes to choosing an animal as companion, dogs are the most common ones because not only loyal, they will also provide happiness to their owners with their genuine affection. Research shows that it only takes 15 to 30 minutes of staying with a dog to make people relax and less tense over their worries. Not only that, playing with dog also increased the level of serotonin and dopamine to the brain, that are also known as neurotransmitters to release tranquility and boost people’s mood. Therefore, an emotional support dog would make a good therapy for individuals who are suffering from mental and emotional conditions such as stress, anxiety and panic disorder, dissociative disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, phobia, or even post-traumatic stress disorder.

Unlike service dog, an emotional support dog doesn’t necessarily require certain abilities to handle tasks for people with physical disability. They are meant provide comfort and unconditional support that could lower someone’s stress pressure. Studies also found that people who spend their time a lot with dogs get less sick, better sleep at night, and are more likely to survive a heart attack. An emotional support dog is usually seen wearing a special vest or tag to let the public know that it is here to assist a person. Every person who meets the criteria is allowed to get an emotional support dog as their companion, according to Under the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) and also the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), that lets people bring their emotional support dog while flying on the plane. Any kind of dog breed can be an emotional support dog, and they do not necessarily be trained beforehand to perform their ‘duties’ in comforting and simply being people’s companion.


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