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Anxiety and Depression Support
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Emotional Support Dog!

Some days I feel like my meds are not working enough. I have tried different things along with my meds. I have been thinking about the possibility of getting an emotional support dog. I know the responsibilities that come along with having a dog (I have them before) and this is not an excuse for getting one. I seriously believe that this might help and get me out of my funk.

What are your thoughts on the subject and if you have/had been through the process of getting an ESA what is it like?

Thank you!

6 Replies

Please do not consider getting an emotional support dog or a service dog only because you think it might "get you out of your funk". Please try some other diversion or comfort.....Please?

These dogs depend upon you as much as you think you might depend on them. They truly are significant members of your life and what happens to one, if you are still too depressed to care for it properly....grooming, walking, playing, proper feeding and water, arranging proper off duty time around other dogs, and AFFORD proper healthcare when the dog is ill?

Is there anyone else in your household that would provide all this to a dog if your depression gets worse or you are ill?

If you think you could handle a 2 year old child right now, then I might think you could properly care for a service dog or an emotional support dog. If your medications aren't of help to you, please talk with your doctor and therapist and consider with them other ways to help your anxiety, OK?

I am really strong on this because my best friend is probably my service dog Scooter, and even with the best care we have provided to him over the years for him so that he is getting as much out of life as he puts into mine, he has become so seriously ill, that I am fighting to keep my PTSD under control right now.......... he has been such a great help/friend to me.

Please, these wonderful animals deserve a two-way street. They give and we must provide as much back.

It was after seven years dealing with my physical injury and my PTSD (anxiety and depression plus all the extra that goes with PTSD) that Scooter came it my life. I was no condition to properly care for all he's needs by myself. I had help. My learning how to care for him by myself came slowly but surely, and he has even traveled all over the US, the Carribean, Europe by auto, plane, and ship. That took a lot of loving training for him to behave properly in those situations and still help me.

We don't know if he will live at the moment. It is touch and go, day to day, as he goes back and forth to a special vet. In my life, my husband comes first, but right now Scooter is a very close second and my husband understands that and would do just about anything he could for Scooter. AND THAT IS EXPENSIVE at the moment.

Scooter and I had made a deal when we first learned he had congestive heart failure, that he would live until Thanksgiving 2018 so he could travel with us to Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and the other European countries on my husband's bucket list. That dog loves to travel, and he is actually, as sick as he is now, still trying to take walks, play a little fetch, wake me up with I have my PTSD nightmares, but he still can't eat properly, coughs and is so tired right now.

It's day by day now, but If I can keep showing Scooter that I'm ok and act towards him that he will be ok, I really think he's going to keep our bargain. So, please....remember you and such a dog are lifetime commitments to one another.


Hi mek314,

I definitely think it could possibly make you feel better but it won't change the fact that you'll have good days AND bad days. If you do get a dog you'll have a partner that will be there with you through it all so you won't feel so alone or so down. There's definitely a lot of responsibility when it comes to taking care of a dog but if you feel the odds are in your favor you can definitely give it a go!

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Do any of you even know the criteria and the length of the waiting list for getting a service dog? And the medical documentation required to qualify for one or to have a dog designated as an "emotional support" dog? There is a very big difference where these two different types of designated types of dogs are even permitted to be with the person matched with it. Really, you'll be old and gray before you reach the top of the service dog list.

And please do not just decide to get any dog just so you have one around you because you think your meds aren't working? What are you gong to do if you think the dog just isn't working out?

Talk to your doctor and therapist about your meds and an alternative to a dog, ok?


Hi I have never heard of an 'emotional support dog' but I am guessing an organisation trains them? If so won't you have to qualify for one? If that's the case you have nothing to lose by applying and see what happens.

Obviously as you have had dogs in the past you are aware of the cost of them and their needs. If you are happy with that I think you would also need someone to be able to see to it if you couldn't.

Good luck with it.

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Before committing to a dog I would recommend borrowing a friends dog to see the care involved and if a dog is the companion you want. That being said, I have I have an American Pitbull Terrior as my ESA. Harley, at this moment, is curled up at my side on the couch with his head on my lap. Part of the beauty of an ESA dog is he's always there for me. He doesn't care if I cry, am sad, or are anxious . He thinks I'm wonderful cause I let him be with me, talk to, take him for walks, give belly rubs and kibble twice a day. Speaking of walks, knowing he needs those walks for his health and happiness gets me out the door even on days when I don't want to leave the house. The process of getting Harley was not that difficult. Just make sure a dog and his care is for you.


I don't think you need a dog. What you probably need more is to work closer with your psychiatrist to get your treatment to the point where it works properly for you. And you may also go online and research the drugs you take to learn more about possible food interactions as well.

In all honesty, i believe the idea of emotional support dogs is ludicrous. The poor animals being forced to live with people who already have a hard time dealing with their own lives, that is animal cruelty in my opinion. Lol


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