Chronic pain can be debilitating, leaving a person unable to live the type of normal life others without the condition may take for granted, from running simple errands to performing basic chores around the house to holding down a job or dating and visiting with friends.
Chronic pain can result from an array of sources, be it a traumatic injury or a chronic illness like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia. Whatever the source of chronic pain, most treatments for it only reduce symptoms but don’t eliminate them entirely.
For this reason, assistance with general aspects of daily living and personal health and safety is crucial for anyone living with chronic pain. And this is precisely what service dogs can offer.
How a Service Dog Can Help With Chronic Pain
Dogs haven’t earned the title, “man’s best friend,” for no reason. For time immemorial, dogs have assisted human beings in all facets of survival, as well as provided undying loyalty and affection. Service dogs provide these same gifts to people who sorely need them, along with special training to assist the disabled, such as those suffering from chronic pain, with various everyday health, safety and lifestyle needs.
A service dog can provide a person with chronic pain vital medication reminders and even retrieve the medicine as needed. For that matter, a service dog can retrieve any number of essential items for daily living, such as a ringing cell phone or a TV remote, when the pain is or would be too much to bear to do it oneself.
Other ways a service dog can help a person with mobility issues from chronic pain include:
- Turning off an alarm clock
- Answering the doorbell
- Alerting neighbors in case of an accident or emergency
- Pushing a crosswalk button and helping to cross the street
- Assisting with balance
Service dogs can also remain alert for sudden behavioral changes in the patient and respond appropriately, such as by retrieving medication or seeking aid. This can be invaluable if, for instance, the chronic pain sufferer accidentally overdoses on pain medication or falls down and knocks him or herself unconscious.
It’s even possible that, with a service dog’s aid, a person with chronic pain may be able to reduce their intake of pharmaceutical medications to treat their pain.
Research on Service Dogs for Chronic Pain
In the effort to scientifically verify what so many chronic pain sufferers with service dogs already know, researchers are actively studying the potential benefits of service dogs for various types of chronic pain.
In one study of animal-assisted therapy for outpatients with fibromyalgia, researchers found that, after just 12 minutes with a service dog, patients experienced less pain, emotional distress and fatigue, as well as improved mood and reduced measures of stress.
Qualifying for a Service Dog With Chronic Pain
Fortunately, under federal law, chronic pain is one of the qualifying conditions for a service dog. Unlike for an emotional support dog, you do not need to receive a doctor’s letter authorizing you to have a service dog. You do, however, need a verifiable diagnosis from a qualified medical provider in your state for chronic pain, or any other qualifying condition.
Registering Your Service Dog
Whether you have a service dog or an emotional support dog, registration offers many benefits, and it may be easier and more affordable than you think.
Why to Register Your Service Dog
While registration of a service dog or emotional support dog is not required in order to have one of these types of support dog, it does provide a wealth of benefits. Registration helps to identify your dog as a support dog to those controlling access to a particular establishment, property, service or publicly-accessible space. When attempting to board a plane with a support dog or get residence in a rental property with your support dog, registration can help simplify and expedite the process.
Why to Use Certifymypet to Register Your Service Dog
Through Certifymypet, you’ll be able to speak with a licensed doctor in your state to undergo the required medical assessment and, if applicable, receive the proper letter or authorization for the type of support dog you have, according to federal laws and the laws of your state.
You don’t even need to leave your home to make this happen. All consultations with doctors through Certifymypet take place via videoconferencing using private and secure telemedicine technology.
By registering your support dog with Certifymypet, you can also get an airline service dog letter or a housing letter for a leasing office whenever you need it. Likewise, you’ll receive an ID card to keep in your wallet and an ID tag to place on your service dog’s collar, vest or harness identifying the dog as a service dog and you as its handler. Letters and ID cards from Certifymypet never expire, and Certifymypet provides 24/7 online verification of your legal status to have a support dog.
A Better Business Bureau Accredited company, Certifymypet also provides all registrants with invaluable self-training tips for working with your service dog. There are certain expectations of any service dog with regards to training and behavior in order for you to reap the rights granted to a person with a service dog. For instance, a service dog cannot excessively bark, whine or growl. It cannot act aggressively toward any other individual or animal, including yourself, and it cannot urinate or defecate in any place except designated ones. Diligently implementing the tips Certifymypet provides all registrants can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful experience for you and your service dog.
How to Register Your Service Dog With Certifymypet
To register your service dog or emotional support dog online, visit Certifymypet.com. There, registering your service dog is a simple three-step process:
- Complete a medical questionnaire.
- Speak with a qualified doctor about your chronic pain.
- Receive digital and printed copies of your documentation.