Although emotional support and service dogs may seem similar to the uninformed viewer, there are several critical differences between these two types of dogs. Dogs have been man’s best friend for thousands of years, sticking with humans since the early days of cave painting and stone tools, through the middle ages, the industrial revolution and into the modern age.
Dogs helped to protect human settlements from dangerous animals and other people; they were also instrumental in guarding and herding livestock for thousands of years. While plenty of dogs around the world still serve this function, most people use dogs for companionship these days. Emotional support and service dogs, however, provide more than just companionship and support to their owners.
Service dogs, for starters, are trained to specifically assist and perform certain duties for an individual with a disability. This includes seizure dogs that warn their owners of impending seizures, seeing-eye dogs that help lead visually impaired or blind people around obstacles, and dogs that help their owners cope with conditions such as regular anxiety attacks or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Service dogs are protected under federal law and can accompany their owners in public places that usually do not allow dogs, including stores, hotels, restaurants and even housing with no-pet rules. These animals are individually trained to assist and perform services that are specific to their owner’s disability, such as a seizure dog being trained to spot the signs of an impending seizure in their owner.
Generally, service dogs will perform various tasks, such as guiding their owners through public places, fetching their owner’s medicine, warning their owners of low blood sugar or an impending seizure, or helping to move their owners to a safe place when they cannot move themselves.
To get a support dog, an individual has to be diagnosed with a disability as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act and have a recommendation from a healthcare provider stating that you require a service animal due to your disability.
Emotional support dogs (ESA), on the other hand, are meant to provide emotional support to people with an emotional or mental health condition such as depression or anxiety. Unlike service dogs, ESAs do not receive specific training and are not protected under federal law.
This means that your emotional support animal will not have similar access to public spaces such as hotels and restaurants. Even so, owners with emotional support animals can still live in housing that does not normally allow pets.
While these furry friends make great support or service companions, they too can also face a number of health challenges, including seizures triggered by different conditions. A number of companies such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are devoting considerable resources to developing treatments for pet seizures so that humans can continue to have the companionship and assistance that dogs can render.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/IGC
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