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Community Manager
Posts: 5,287
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Service & emotional support animals

Picture of two puppies

 

Hi everyone, 

 

A recent conversation started by @Jenny105, and a few other articles that I read online, inspired me to start this general discussion around how animals can help with different conditions, or accessibility challenges. 

 

The most well known examples are probably guide dogs and hearing dogs, who can respectively help anyone with visual and hearing impairments, but animals can do much more! Service animals, in general, can assist people with various physical disabilities, autism, and many more conditions. Therapy and emotional support animals have been proven to soothe humans and improve our mental wellbeing and struggles with stress, anxiety, or depression. I have also read about therapeutic horse-riding, which can help improve balance, posture and mobility for those with lessened motor function.

 

I was wondering if you guys have any experience of how animals can help us in any of the above ways, or another I did not list? This could be first-hand experience, or experience through friends, family, colleagues or that you have simply witnessed. 

 

dog cat hamster rabbit bird

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Posts: 72,559
Topics: 683
Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Service & emotional support animals

[ Edited ]

@EmilieT 

There are dogs which have been trained to recognise the symptoms of an epileptic seizure or pre-diabetic coma (before they happen).

Also research shows some dogs are able to recognise the first signs of certain cancers..

 

We were one of the first hospitals in the UK to introduce the Pat A Dog service in our Care Of the Elderly Unit. We found this so beneficial to our elderly patients.

*The Game Is On*


Level 14: Rising star 
Posts: 425
Registered: ‎02-01-2014

Re: Service & emotional support animals

Hi      there are dogs for austic children (and adults?) . They assist in keeping them calm 

 

I feel a little guilty at having a support dog. Sound Support dogs are on duty 24/7.

BUT if matched with a dog we will endeavour to give it its  time and more every day . Plus give doggy a happy varied life with adventures. Our garden has shrubs to hide behind, tunnels of shrubs to play in and masses of grass to run around on.

Level 15: Gaining a Reputation
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Re: Service & emotional support animals

I have rats lol but just bought from shop so just classed as pets
Community Manager
Posts: 5,287
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Re: Service & emotional support animals

@Cleoriff 

The Pat A Dog service sounds wonderful! I've heard of dogs in children wards before but I can imagine they can actually help many more. Was that service operated monhtly, weekly, or on request? Did they all come from a charity, or volunteer dog owners? You know I'm very curious, sorry nerd

 

@Jenny105 

I don't think there's any reason for you to feel guilty, it's about how this dog could (fingers crossed "will") help you, and you deserve it! Did you consider any other breed than greyhounds when looking for a sevice dog? I don't know what the pros and cons are to the different breeds in training for service dogs at all. dog

 

@liggerz87 joy

I've never felt any connection to rats myself, but do you find they help you somehow? Dogs and cats can often feel when someone is sad or happy for example, and make efforts to comfort. Is that a behaviour rats can follow at all? That'd be quite interesting ... 

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Posts: 72,559
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Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Service & emotional support animals

@EmilieT 

We started it off monthly as we weren't sure how it would go, then it increased to once a week.

We used a mixure of services, charities and volunteers. Occasionally, relatives brought the patients own dog in. A real joy to behold. hugging

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Community Manager
Posts: 5,287
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Re: Service & emotional support animals


@Cleoriff wrote:

@EmilieT 

We started it off monthly as we weren't sure how it would go, then it increased to once a week.

We used a mixure of services, charities and volunteers. Occasionally, relatives brought the patients own dog in. A real joy to behold. hugging


That sounds wonderful @Cleoriff  hugging

 

I think we have more cat owners than dog owners on the Community, so when I read this article on cats and their benefits for mental health it felt like you guys might relate to it! 

 

@Marjo Also told me about Ken Kukkelista, who is a Finnish therapy chicken chicken smile

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Level 15: Gaining a Reputation
Posts: 761
Registered: ‎22-04-2017

Re: Service & emotional support animals

Ye rats are amazing pets had them for years only have 3 left now