Q:

What are psychiatric service dogs?

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Quick Answer

Psychiatric service dogs, also called mental health dogs, help people with different types of mental health disorders, says Cesar's Way. Individuals struggling with a mental health illness who need the emotional support adopt these dogs.

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Full Answer

Service dogs, sometimes referred to as guide dogs, provide many benefits for individuals, says Cesar's Way. They help to relieve anxiety and depression, alert the owner of a dangerous situation and help blind or disabled persons navigate daily life. For people with mental health disorders, they are helpful in calming down an individual having a severe panic attack or experiencing an episode from post traumatic stress disorder.

A psychiatric service dog’s sole purpose is to provide comfort, company and emotional support for the owner, notes Cesar's Way. The dog is responsible for keeping the owner’s emotional state at an even level by calming him as needed. In addition to other conditions mentioned, the dog also helps with autism, agoraphobia and other mental health disorders.

Psychiatric service dogs can help his owner get through a crowded area, give him medications and remind him when it is time to take medication, according to Cesar's Way. The dog finds exits quickly, gives the owner personal space to keep others away from him and wakes the owner if he is having night terrors or other episodes.

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