Any experience with therapy dogs for heroes tackling mental illness?

Hey terrific people,

Has anyone tried using a dog for as a therapy dog? Our son has enjoyed a close relationship with our family dog who just passed away and I’m wondering if this is an opportunity since he’s open to the idea of getting a service dog.

Your thoughts?

Thank you :slight_smile:

I used to work in a residential sho that had two licensed therapy dogs. They helped the children immensely! I highly recommend it! In most states, you can get any dog licensed as a therapy dog by taking them to a simple course and filling out some paperwork.

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This belongs in the Family forum, not the Diagnosed forum.

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I asked in this forum to ask the individuals who tackle mental illness for their perspective and I was posting it in the family one too. I’m learning so please tell me why this should have only been posted in the Family one. Thank you.

@amylpeltekian, we allow certain family members to post here occasionally on a case-by-case basis, as long as they remain respectful. I’m going to leave this open for now, because it seems helpful for you.

Volunteer moderator

That helps to understand; thank you.

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I hate therapy dogs. I have a very strong dog allergy and people bringing their dogs into restaurants and shopping centres makes me ill. My nose clogs, my throat constricts, and I have difficulty breathing if one gets too close to me (or if it has polluted an environment with its dander). The skin rash and hives are a wonderful bonus. I’m tolerant of those who are blind and deaf having service dogs, but as a mentally ill person who has managed to cope without one, my expectation of other mentally ill is the same: Cowboy up.

Thats too bad that you have such a strong allergic reaction to dogs. Do you take any allergy meds for it?

I love dogs I think they’re fantastic. They fill my heart with love and they’re funny a lot of the time so all good things. I think it would be good for your son. I’m planning on getting another dog as mine passed away as well.

Everyone copes differently and some people find having a service dog has completely changed their lives. I’m surprised at you for being so narrowminded and selfish about it just because you have a dog allergy no one else should be allowed to benefit from a service dog.

When you combine it with my heart defect it can actually be life threatening, but, hey, I’m just being a grinch.

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Wow, if its lifethreatening I definitely hope youre taking some sort of allergy med for it. Be safe.

Corticosteroids work the best for severe allergy attacks, but they also have unhealthy side-effects and can even cause cataracts. I try to stick to Benadryl unless I’ve gotten a major dose of dog and my breathing is shutting down.

That’s unfortunate but I don’t see realistically everyone being forbidden to have dogs around due to people with allergies…if we banned everything people were very allergic to things would be impossible…I think if you have a life threatening allergy you should always be on some sort of medication for it if possible. It’s up to you to manage your allergy not up to the rest of the world…

Service dogs can do a lot for a person. They are not the same as therapy dogs that are just there to be pet and play with. They have specific jobs they are trained to do. For example if I were to get a dog for my narcolepsy it could detect my sleep attacks before they happen which could save me from say getting in the car and then passing out a bunch while driving which would be very dangerous. Or some people use them for epilepsy for similar reasons or diabetes…for ptsd they can pull out of flashbacks/panic attacks…etc. So saying people should “cowboy up” is disrespectful.

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Sounds like youre stuck between a dog and a hard place.

Did you not notice the part where I said that the most effective allergy med is known to cause cataracts?

It would be nice to receive the same consideration peanut allergy sufferers do.

I’m actually respecting people by considering that they’re capable of solving their own problems without an unneeded crutch. I see you as providing them with an extraneous solution that limits them from properly solving their own issues.

I have heard a lot about people being allergic to cats. I had never heard of anyone being allergic to dogs until now.

I used to be allergic to cats but my wife had two of them and after a couple of years I got used to them. They don’t bother me now.

Therapy dogs aren’t allowed in public places like service dogs are. But they can fly with you for free. That’s about the only thing the certification is good for.

Allergic to dogs?
Wow that is unimaginable.
I’d be heartbroken if I were allergic to dogs.

About 15 percent of the population in Canada is allergic to pets with cat allergies outnumbering dog allergies 2:1. This means that aobut 5 percent of Canadians are allergic to dogs.

I kind of agree with Anna. It sucks that pixel is that allergic to dogs but he chooses not to take medication for it because he doesnt like the side effect profile. Instead he wants the world around him to change and do without their therapy dogs.

There is surgery for cataracts, btw, so at least that side effect could be dealt with.