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Let us start today’s story with a story of the importance of service pets in mental health.
Darcy adopted a pit bull named Ruby.
To be quite honest it was a vice versa situation as Ruby was a service dog.
According to Darcy, to help Darcy with her anxiety and depression they bring Ruby home. But Ruby the generous pitbull was very different. She picked up an abnormal heart rhythm of Darcy. Her senses instigated Darcy to visit a cardiologist. Ruby was right. Her mom had a serious heart condition.
Like any other service pet, she would assist her mom in everything like shopping or running errands. Whenever she felt something was wrong she would lick Darcy’s hand. Or press on her chest so that she felt better.
Ruby tremendously helped in helping reducing Darcy’s panic attacks in public. She would pamper her or ask others for help in her own ways. Therefore Darcy was being saved on many occasions.
Ruby was like Darcy’s alarm system, whenever something went wrong, she would alert her. On a fine day, Ruby alerted her mom about some dysfunction she had picked up. Trusting Ruby she decides to call an ambulance. At the hospital, Ruby did not leave her mother’s side. The so-called ‘service pet’ kept doing pressure therapy to let her know that she was there for her.
What Are Service Animals
A service animal, mostly a dog, means an animal that can support a person with various kinds of disabilities.
But a service animal can also be a cat or a rabbit or and friendly furry animal that are specially trained to aid different people differently.
Since dogs have been a friend to humans since the start of civilization you will obviously prefer dogs as your service animals.
A Service Animal guides a blind person to help cross the road. Trained to navigate roads and understanding signals, some service dogs help in mobility issues such as supporting the person when they are falling down.
But let’s talk about those service animals who help people with various psychiatric disorders.
Importance of Service Pets for Anxiety
As we learned by the story of Darcy how the Pitbull never left her side during anxiety attacks, most dogs or animals for anxious people get that training.
“A psychiatric service dog (PSD) is a specific type of service animal trained to assist those with mental illnesses. These include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.” this is the most accurate definition of service dogs or animals.
If you have anxiety such as OCD or Agoraphobia (the fear of open places) will assist you at every moment. They will nudge you when you start ruminating in OCD or will assist you when you are out buying groceries as your faithful companion.
Service animals not only care for you or assist you in public places, but they will also genuinely grow a bond with you who will help you soak up your tears.
They will fetch medicines for you, or even alert your other family members about your discomforts so that proper care takes on time.
Why Pets Are Good for Mental Health
Having a dog or a cat at your home is extremely therapeutic. There is a psychology of comfort in touching and caressing a furry animal regularly that can keep your mental health at an optimum point.
You can play with your pet that increases your regular exercise routine and brings more fun to it.
You can enjoy plenty of security that your service dog will provide.
If you have seizure attacks or epilepsy, your service animal will notice the changes in you even before you start to feel the aura.
Your pet will clear the scenario and ask others for help in case you are going to have a grand mal seizure. It will be ready to catch you when you fall down.
It will safely alert you that you are going to have a seizure so that you can sit it out and let it pass. you can train a service dog to do the paw pressure technique that will make you feel like you are not alone.
Other Service Pets that You Can Think of
Apart from having a dog, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs. small horses and fishes also have a therapeutic ability. They are quiet, intelligent and highly trained that can comprehend any change in your behaviour such as anxiety or panic attacks. Even studies show that crickets have a certain ability to calm you.
You cannot train fish as service animals but seeing them swimming in clear water can have an extremely calming effect. So, if you do not want a big dog or cat for your anxiety then just set up a nice and big aquarium at your house. Put selected fishes such as goldfishes and other colourful fishes and definitely not carps.
See how things improve.
What is Black Dog Depression
The name is contradictory to itself as it is a metaphor. When you have a black dog, it signifies you have depression.
But the catchphrase is that even a black dog can take you out of the depression. Any trained service dog or even the dogs in your locality can offer you the companionship that often a person cannot provide to one another.
Enough about service dogs; since this article was about service pets I will finish the story with the story of a service cat.
We usually ostracize cats as a thief or selfish and cannot support their ‘hooman’.
But I knew someone who had a terrible form of OCD and she had a service cat. It was able to live in her dorm at college and whenever she was in terrible depression and was about to self-harm, the cat would sense and calm and gently poked her with its paw. Her impulses eventually started to vanish.
The cat would also keep her calm by sitting on her lap while she had too much coursework to finish.
So, the bottom line is, it does not matter if it is a dog or cat or a rabbit.
It depends on you.
Which animal would you chose or you would let which service pet choose you?
Let us know in the comments section below.