Emotional support dogs have become wildly popular of late, and with good reason, as many people have found a great deal of comfort and kindness with these beautiful animals. If you suffer from anxiety, an emotional support dog may be an ideal remedy, but there are major lifestyle changes to consider if this is something you want to pursue. Here are three things you must to know before making such an adoption.
Yes, these animals provide a great deal of comfort, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t without their own challenges. Owning a dog can be deeply changing to your lifestyle and will force you to reconsider your priorities. You will have to care for the dog, feed it, take it on walks, and always make sure that you are addressing its needs, in addition to your own. According to Quivira Corgis, if your lifestyle is busy and on the go, find a dog that can handle a change and can adapt to living in an apartment, on the road or in the country. In that sense, it is very important that you purchase a dog that fits your life. After all, these animals are supposed to help reduce your anxiety — not be a source of another anxiety on their own!
According to the National Service Animal Registry, depending on the specific training and breed, these canines are not cheap—sometimes costing as much as $50,000! While less expensive options are available, these cheaper possibilities will come with less training. That may mean that you ultimately have to spend more when it comes to training and certification. Additionally, like any other animal, an emotional support dog will have medical needs, and you will have to regularly get them vaccinated, have check-ups, and pay for unexpected illnesses and accidents. Pet insurance is an option—but an expensive one.
Depending on where you live and work, you may still have issues when it comes to bringing your dog into certain places. Many places explicitly ban animals and may not look kindly on an emotional support dog. The law may be on your side, but this is something that you will have to research.
Emotional support dogs can be wonderful and deeply comforting, but they are not without their own challenges. Make sure you do your research and are prepared to deal with the ways in which pet ownership will change your life.
Here’s another article you might like: How to Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder
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