Pets & Animals

Can Service Dogs Help With Anxiety?

Service dogs are not only for people with physical handicaps.  Individuals with anxiety can benefit greatly from a service dog that are specially trained to help people with who have physical or mental health conditions.

A person with anxiety-related issues can benefit from a service dog by:

  • Feeling calm with the help of a service dog.
  • Anticipating anxiety attacks
  • Help get medication.

In this post, we will discuss the advantages service dogs provide for people with anxiety.  You will also learn if service dogs can actually help their owners with anxiety or depression.

What Are Psychiatric Service Dogs?

Psychiatric service dogs help individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and other mental health conditions.  These dogs are allowed to go anywhere with their owner. All service dogs complete a specialized training and are legally recognized by the Americans with Disabilities ACT.

Roles Service Dogs Perform?

  • Discovering signs of an anxiety attack before it occurs
  • Getting water or medication during an anxiety attack
  • Finding someone to assist the person in distress
  • Stopping strangers from approaching their owner while in distress
  • Quieting a person down through an anxiety attack through diversion, like licking their face or providing a paw
  • Applying deep pressure therapy to soothe their owner
  • Getting a telephone during an anxiety attack
  • Reminding their owner when its medication time
  • Checking rooms to make sure they are safe


  • Exercise: Service dogs help motivate their owners to exercise, which can help improve mental health conditions. .
  • Time outside: Spending time outside is a great thing for someone with anxiety and depression . Normally, it is hard for these individuals to get out, but dogs require walks.  This means a lot more time outside.  Walking a dog means spending time outside, which may at times be difficult for people who experience anxiety or depression.  Spending time outside can boost mental health and raise vitamin D intake, which can improve a person’s mood.
  • Companionship: Dogs offer love and friendship.  Spending time with pets can lower stress and anxiety.
  • Relieves Stress: Spending time with a pet reduces anxiety and stress.  It is actually proven to increase happiness.

In order to qualify for a service dog, a person much meet certain criteria.  Individuals who wish to get a service dog must first speak to a licensed mental health professional. This will help determine if a service dog is the right fit.  For those who do not qualify, an emotional support animal is also a great option.


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