What’s the Difference Between Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, and Emotional Support Animals?

There is controversy surrounding the roles of animals in the lives of people with disabilities or chronic illnesses. Many of us have seen the posts online about registering your animal as an emotional support animal with a small fee, and being able to keep your animal in a no pets allowed setting. This has led people to question the legitimacy of all service animals and their roles. A feeling of distrust among people who do not understand the difference between these animals, and the rights that accompany them, has been emerging as more people utilize these services.

Service Dogs are the most protected and trained of the 3 types of dogs. While many people refer to all 3 types as “service animals”, the official names for this type is Service Dog. These dogs are legally considered medical equipment and have a price tag to match, ranging from $10,000- $50,000. They are intensively trained for 1.5-2.5 years, having to pass a variety of tests to be serviceable including, but not limited to, opening cupboards, retrieving dropped objects, staying calm in public, etc.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Service Dogs are allowed anywhere their handler is, and cannot be turned away from an establishment or refused to go to work with their handler. DOT’s Air Carrier Access Act, and DOJ/HUD Fair Housing Act and Federal Rehabilitation Act cover other circumstances that the ADA doesn’t. While there is a difference between Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals, there is a gray area for dogs that are used to calm anxiety attacks under ADA rules. Psychiatric Service Dogs are covered under the ADA only if they perform a specific action to avoid or lessen an attack. If they are just there for comfort then they are considered an Emotional Support Animal.

Therapy dogs are kind of the opposite side of the same coin as Service Dogs. Instead of offering physical aid to their handlers, they provide psychological or physiological therapy to others and are accompanied by a handler who doesn’t usually need their service. The best example of a therapy dog would be dogs that go to children’s hospitals to bring comfort, or dogs that work in school systems.

These animals, like the Service Dogs, require extensive training. Therapy dogs are also encouraged to be very social and interact with a variety of people, unlike Service Dogs who need to focus on their handler. Therapy dogs may be trained by anyone, but they need to meet standards to be certified. Therapy dogs do not have the same rights as service dogs, though many places will allow a therapy dog to accompany their owners, they are not required to by law.

The last type we are discussing are Emotional Support Animals. This one is the most vague and open-ended. An Emotional Support Animal does not have to have any special training and most of the time is registered by its owner because it brings comfort. Also, an Emotional Support Animal does not have to be a dog. These animals are not protected under the ADA and cannot accompany their owners in establishments where there are no animals allowed. Owners with a registered support animals can keep them in housing that otherwise does not allow pets according to the Fair Housing Act.

What Is A Registered Service Dog Or A Service Animal?

A Registered Service Dog is your best friend and also your constant companion. Service Dogs obtain this classification from being able to assist the owner with a multitude of physical and/or mental problems. And this classification is not confined to Service Dogs. Service Animals can also be classified as having the same abilities as a Service Dog. The primary thing that The Americans With Disabilities Act (aka ADA) requires is that the Dog or Service Animal provides a service to the person with a disability.

Most people consider Dogs as mainly being for either a blind or deaf person and while that indeed is a very valuable service there are many other uses for these animals. For instance, a dog or other animal can be trained to assist a person by pulling a wheelchair and they can pick up and retrieve items for people with mobility concerns.

A Service Dog can smell changes in the human body which can indicate that the individual either needs to take medication or needs to get assistance from a doctor. For instance, a person with diabetes knows that this ailment primarily has the diabetes manifest itself in a persons feet. So, when this persons Dog begins to paying too much attention to a persons feet then that patient knows that the dog is trying to tell them that their diabetes is getting out of control.

The same is also when a person has anxiety problems. A Dog or even a Service Animal can have a calming effect upon people with this specific problem. This ailment is usually treated with medications where a Dog can have the same calming effect.

People with the problem of never getting out of the house know that their Dog will need to be let out of the house and be taken on walks. Doctors know that this patient would never attempt to get this exercise without the Service Animal. So, doctors are in agreement that a Service Dog is beneficial to this type of patient.

Doctors know that this arrangement is almost like a marriage between a man and a woman. This is a marriage of a patient and a Service Animal. The love that is produced by this companionship is invaluable to the patients health.

Under the ADA the patient does not have to have identification papers for their Dog. However, a number of scam companies have come onto the scene which offer cheap ID papers. These papers carry no weight because there are no requirements behind the issuing of these ID Cards. However, there are legitimate companies such as Registered Service Dogs which requires that a patient gets a form signed by not only the patients doctor, which states that the Service Dog or Service Animal, is needed for a specific medical need. Registered Service Dogs also requires that the patients veterinarian signs the same form which states that the animal is safe to be in the general public. This company and others like it that have these strict requirements are complying with the intent of The Americans With Disabilities Act. This company can be reached on the internet at http://www.registeredservicedogs.com.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects Of SSRI Drugs Used For Treatment Of Depression And Anxiety Disorders

The term ‘SSRI’ is abbreviation for ‘selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor’. It is a family of drugs used for the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. They are safer than most other anti-depressants because they act selectively on the brain’s ability to use serotonin, which is the principal neurotransmitter affecting a person’s mood. SSRIs do not significantly interfere with other physiological systems nor do they have any serious drug-drug or drug-food interactions except with other anti-depressants / anti-psychotic drugs

In a majority of cases, the side-effects of SSRIs – particularly Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) are mild and manageable if taken and discontinued strictly in accord with the healthcare service provider’s instructions. Nevertheless, some irritating side-effects are quite common (particularly with the older SSRIs such as Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft and others). One common set of side-effects affects the gastrointestinal system as described below:

  • Abdominal cramp/pain
  • Belching / burps
  • Bloating (due to excessive intestinal gas)
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dyspepsia – indigestion
  • Flatulence (more than normal gas the digestive system)
  • Gagging (involuntary choking)
  • Gastritis (irritation of the stomach’s mucus lining)
  • Gastroenteritis (irritation of the stomach and intestines)
  • Acidity
  • Nausea (vomiting sensation)
  • Dry mouth (xerostomia)

As seen from the above list, the side-effects are random and even somewhat contradictory, e.g., constipation and diarrhea. This shows that it is not possible to predict which of the side-effects a particular patient will experience. It can be surmised that side-effects are idiosyncratic to individual patients, with many patients not experiencing any side-effect at all.

How you should respond: As stated earlier, SSRIs are safe in most patients despite irritating but non-sinister side-effects. The side-effects are idiosyncratic and do not follow any pattern. The patient should know that all the symptoms listed above are temporary and occur only in the initial stage of treatment or, at worst, last as long as the treatment lasts without leaving any scar. Your healthcare service provider might prescribe additional medication to cope with one of more of the side-effects.

Remember however that you must not abruptly discontinue medication with an SSRI drug but instead follow a tapering strategy that the your healthcare service provider will advise. After all, temporary gastrointestinal side-effects are a very reasonable price to pay for the healing of the bigger psycho-somatic problem of depression or generalized anxiety disorders.

What Are the Benefits of Using the Airport Transfer Services?

If you intend to travel on a business or pleasure trip to a country for the first-time, there is often a certain degree of anxiety that comes with traveling around a new city. A simple solution to minimise the anxiety felt is to look at booking one of the airport transfer services. They are easy to organize and available with plenty of different options to match the budget and specific requirements. Also, it is important to find the most efficient and trustworthy companies that have plenty of positive reviews from past clients.

Let's take a look at a few of the benefits of using this type of service:

Minimise stress

A major benefit of using one of the airport transfer services is to minimise travel anxiety. Traveling in a new city with an unfamiliar car, different driving styles, and unknown directions can be very stressful. But, the option to have a car pick you up on arrival at the airport will make the process of reaching your hotel a lot less stressful and gives more time to appreciate your new surroundings.

No risk of getting lost

Many visitors to a new city will have difficulty navigating the streets and finding their own way to a hotel or business meeting. However, the professional driver will make sure you are able to reach your intended destination as soon as possible by taking the best route through the city. This is very convenient for those wishing to avoid the chaotic airport traffic. Also, it is great for those that haven't driven to a particular airport before. Many of the drivers will have in-depth knowledge and likely to make the journey to an airport on an almost daily basis.

Reduced tension

Many travellers will soon start to experience issues with increased tension when it comes to simply hailing a cab or having to drive through an unfamiliar city. However, this is completed avoided when using one of the airport transfer services. They give a very courteous and relaxed travel experience to ensure the trip is calm and comfortable. Additionally, there are drivers that will even be willing to point out a few of the main places of interest while you are on the way to your hotel.

Increased safety

A major hassle of traveling a long distance is the need to pack a lot luggage which can be difficult to handle on public transportation. However, the airport transfer services are much more effective at keeping the luggage safe. Also, you get the option to choose the type of car, so you can easily ensure all your luggage easily fits in your preferred vehicle.

Economics

The option to use of this type of service makes it possible to save a useful amount of time and money. If you are self driving to the airport there is a need to consider things like traffic, car rentals and long-term parking fees. Also, by shopping around there is the potential to find affordable rates that are more attractive than simply relying on the taxis waiting outside the airport.

Overall, the airport transfer services are a very quick and convenient option to complete the journey to or from the airport. They are certain to help avoid many of the general self driving hassles, such as traffic and parking, and will make sure the business or pleasure trip can enjoy the best start possible.

4 Benefits of Using Private Transfers

Whether you are going to travel nationally or internationally, you may be worried about how to choose the right transfer service. If you don't choose the right service, your trip may end up adding to your frustration instead of relieving it. However, we can share with you a method that can help you reduce your anxiety: you can hire private transfers. In this article, we are going to shed some light on this service and its benefits. Read on to know more.

Private Airport Transfer Service

As the name suggests, this private service can pick you from the airport and drop you to your desired destination. Once your trip is over, the same service can pick you up and drop you at the airport.

Based on your budget and needs, you can book this service online as well. You can choose from a lot of companies, but make sure you go with an efficient and trustworthy provider. Online testimonials can help you make the choice more easily.

Let's take a look at some of the benefits you can enjoy by availing yourself of this service.

1. Less Stress

If you want to relive your travel anxiety, you can hire a private airport transfer service. There are many sources of anxiety, such as booking an unfamiliar vehicle or being unaware of the travel direction.

But if you contact a driving company, you won't suffer from any stress. This way you can focus on your trip instead.

2. No Chance of Getting Lost

As said earlier, the possibility of getting lost is one of the main reasons for stress for travelers. If you hire a private transfer, you can rest assured that you won't get lost as the professional driver will always be with you and will get you to your desired destination safely.

3. No Stress or Tension

If you navigate on unfamiliar streets, you may suffer from stress. By booking a private vehicle or bus ahead of time, you can enjoy a professional traveling experience. Most of the companies employ experienced drivers. They are polite and courteous, thus offering a lot of comfort throughout your trip. Moreover, some tourists may even let you know about popular tourist attractions.

4. Security and Reliability

Another common problem travelers face is the possibility of losing their stuff while going from one place to another. But if you hire a private transfer service, your luggage will be in good hands throughout your journey.

If you choose public transport, on the other hand, you may be surrounded by people you don't know. This may increase your anxiety as your stuff may be at risk. On the other hand, a private transfer can keep your stuff in good hands, and offer you the freedom to choose your favorite vehicle.

The Takeaway

Long story short, if you pre-book a private transfer service, you can enjoy a lot of benefits. On the other hand, you can't enjoy these benefits if you choose to opt for public transport. Hopefully, this article will help you make the right choice.