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Can You Get A Service Dog If You Have OCD? It Depends

Nov 23, 2018 By USSA

Service Dog For OCD

We can all be a bit obsessive compulsive from time to time, but there are some individuals in this world whose daily lives are greatly impacted from the disorder. It may seem as if you can get a service animal for just about anything these days, and that is somewhat the case. These animals are so popular because they are so effective! Believe it or not, there is a service dog for individuals suffering from OCD.

What You Need To Qualify

In all cases, in order to qualify for a service animal, you will need to get approval from a physician. The physician will need to verify if you have OCD and how severe it is. Generally, service dogs are used when a condition severely impacts a persons well being. Once you obtain qualification from a physician, you will be able to get a trained service dog. Unfortunately, service animals can be very expensive so it is important to strongly consider if getting one is a good option for you. 

How A Service Animal Can Help Someone With OCD

The type of service animal that an individual with OCD would have is classified as a psychiatric service animal. This classification of service animal is great for individuals suffering from PTSD, panic attacks, depression, anxiety, and OCD.

OCD can overtake an individual’s life and completely derail them from the task at hand. A service dog would be trained to distinguish good behavior from the negative. If you dive into something and lose track of time and the world around you, your dog is there to bring you back to planet Earth. Service dogs know when you have been consumed by something and they can paw at you until you snap out of it. This may sound blunt and to the point, but let’s give an example. It isn’t uncommon for someone with OCD to be in the middle of a meeting and instead of focusing on the discussion, they can be consumed by their stack of papers not aligning correctly. Your service animal is there to make you aware of your distraction and help regain your focus.

This probably seems like a minor situation, but these situations can repeatedly happen day in and day out. The meeting is just one example, but a task as simple as eating dinner can easily be derailed.

Many individuals with severe OCD typically have anxiety. Service dogs are able to provide companionship and protection. When someone suffers from an anxiety attack the service animal is right there to provide comfort in any way possible. Whether by bringing you your prescription medications or simply lying on you to provide body compression.

The bond between a person and their service dog is inseparable. Many individuals who obtain a service animal look back and have no idea how they made it this far without them. One of the most positive things about a service animal is that your everyday life can only be enhanced. A service animal is well-trained and never a burden. These animals don’t need much maintenance other than food and bathroom breaks, aside from those they are your lifeline and tend to all of your needs.

One OCD patient claims his dog cured his OCD and need for total control. Through getting a dog, it added some mess and disorder to his life, which helped him relax and be ok with things not always being perfect. The dogs also provided love and comfort during the tough times along his recovery journey.

It is amazing just how much a service animal can enhance your quality of life. In addition to alerting you of your obsessive behavior, service animals can also help you put more of a routine into your life. You can look forward to walking your dog, feeding him, and simply enjoying time together. These moments with your service animal will help you forget about everything going wrong and focus and redirect your attention to your dog. It truly is amazing the difference a service animal can make in your life.