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New Study Demonstrates the Mental Health Benefits Service Animals Have on Owners and Families

New Study Demonstrates the Mental Health Benefits Service Animals Have on Owners and Families

admin 1 February 14, 2017
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A disabled person wobbly on his feet can reach out to his service dog to regain balance. Strong and well trained, these animals provide a range of physical support to their owners.

Service dogs also give their humans emotional and psychological support. This isn’t news to any dog owner. But up to now there has been little official research.

That’s why a new study is drawing so much attention. A report conducted at Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine with the Organization for Human-Animal Interaction Research shows service dogs provide significant psychological help for the disabled and their families.

Better Mental Health 

According to Maggie O’Haire, an assistant professor at Purdue who worked on the study, findings showed the positive effects on everyone around the dog. Owners worried less. And so did family members, spouses, caregivers and parents.

The entire household displayed “better social and emotional functioning.” Families with a service dog managed their everyday activities better, compared to families who were on a waitlist for a service dog.

Four-Year Study

Researchers didn’t stop with the owner. O’Haire pointed out that parents, children, spouses and caregivers are also affected when one family member has a disability. One major finding was how much they worried about the owner’s health when he had a service dog.

The goal of the study is to come up with an assessment with scientific backing on how the bond between a human and his pet affects mental health and overall well-being. Though the study is focused on service dogs and their owners, the findings of the study can provide input about many pet owners.

O’Haire points out that the more information from research like this can improve the health of pet owners, service dogs and other types of pets. Healthy dogs, and other animals, do a better job of supporting their owners. She feels that the positive findings will get more support for all types of programs that advance the bond between humans and animals.

Purdue worked with Canine Assistants, a group that helps to place service dogs and educate owners and the public. The nonprofit works with both adults and children with special needs. Elanco Animal Health, which provides funding for Canine Assistants, paid for the study.

We Could’ve Told You! 

USA Service Dog Registration could have told you service animals make people feel better and perform more effectively. We see it all the time. And we applaud science for digging deeply into the pet-human connection. Dogs and other animals have been best buddies with humans for thousands of years.

That’s why we work hard to make it simple to register your service dog. The process is free and takes only three steps, using the short form on our website.

We can help register service dogs, emotional support animals and therapy dogs. The legal policy for each is different. Check the website for a clear explanation of how the rules vary for each type of animal.

The store at USA Service Dog Registration has a wide range of packages. For service dogs, there are Credential Packages with patches, ID tag and certificates. You can also purchase vets, electronic ID, collars and leaches. For emotional support animals, there are packages with ID, tags and recommendation letters for housing and travel.

Check out the Resource tab at the top of the website. It has a wide range of helpful information, like service dog training organizations, housing laws for service dogs and emotional support animals and airline requirements.

Visit our website today to find out how easy it is to register your dog or other pet. We know how essential these animals are and how close the bond is.

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