Allow people in the UK to have psychiatric service dogs.

Allow people in the UK to have psychiatric service dogs.

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In the UK, some people have service/assistance dogs to help them cope with their disability. Those dogs can help guide people who have sight loss or who are partially sighted, help listen out for sounds such as a doorbell or fire alarm for their deaf/hard of hearing handler, or help with other disabilities such as multiple sclerosis, where the handler can find it difficult to perform daily tasks, so the dog can assist them with opening/closing doors, picking up items, dressing and undressing, operating control buttons and loading/unloading the washing machine.

There are also PTSD service dogs for veterans.

Though what I find unfortunate, is that we don't have psychiatric service dogs for people in the UK who aren't veterans and have depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, bipolar etc.

In the USA, people can have psychiatric service dogs that perform tasks to help them cope with their mental disability, those tasks can be;

  • Sensing an oncoming panic/anxiety attack and alerting the handler beforehand to make sure they go to a more comfortable space.
  • Preventing the handler from scratching or hitting themself by putting their paw or body in the way or licking the handler's face to distract them.
  • Doing DPT (deep pressure therapy) - usually on the chest, stomach or lap - to calm the handler down during and/or after a panic/anxiety attack.
  • Blocking by creating a barrier between the handler and other people.
  • Getting help by finding someone the handler knows or someone who can help and leading them back to the handler.
  • Retrieving medication for you.
  • Bringing a phone to you in case you need to contact someone in an emergency.

The reason I think that it is an important thing to get psychiatric service dogs in the UK is because there are many people I feel could benefit from having a service dog to help them cope with their mental disability, as well as a companion and for some, a reason to go outside and live a happier life, for the handler and the dog.

Adopting dogs from shelters then training them could help both the dog and the handler just as much.

I also feel that I would benefit from having a psychiatric service dog due to my mental disabilities.

Thank you for reading, please sign so we can help people who need psychiatric service dogs in the UK.