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Need an emotional support dog

Posted
Katlove10 Katlove10 (New) New

Hello!

my husband is a firefighter. I am in nursing school. I get anxiety when he is gone (he is gone quite a bit ) and I can't sleep. It's really wearing me down.

L.s.s. I'm getting a dog but would like to make it an emotional support dog. If course, this dog would not actually go to work with me or to school with me . It would go lots of other places though.

Question:::

when applying for a job, can anyone look up medical info and discriminate against me for having an emotional support dog ?

If I didn't tell the hospital I applied at, would there be any way for them to find out prior to hiring me ?

Every dog is capable of providing emotional support, if the dog is not a working dog who will be going to work and school with you, I don't understand why you would need a specially trained dog.

Every dog is capable of providing emotional support, if the dog is not a working dog who will be going to work and school with you, I don't understand why you would need a specially trained dog.

Thank you for responding. The dog would go with me to study and everywhere else I need to go . I need a dog but I do not want to leave the dog at home when I go to the grocery store or if I go study at a coffee shop. We do not have a large yard to let the dog roam around in. So he would be indoors . I don't think that's fair to the dog. Making it an emotional support dog would give me the ease of making the dogs life a good life, while also allowing me to be able to have a dog.

The questions to my problems were posted at the bottom of my topic. ...It would be helpful if you had insight to those. :)

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience.

Do you have a documented mental illness that is debilitating?

If so getting an emotional support dog is possible...

I don't know of anyone who had an emotional support dog.

My only question is, do you plan on taking the emotional support dog to work? If so, there may be issues involved where employers will go for a candidate that doesn't have an emotional support dog because it's an employers' market, especially if they didn't let them know beforehand.

Thank you for responding. The dog would go with me to study and everywhere else I need to go . I need a dog but I do not want to leave the dog at home when I go to the grocery store or if I go study at a coffee shop. We do not have a large yard to let the dog roam around in. So he would be indoors . I don't think that's fair to the dog. Making it an emotional support dog would give me the ease of making the dogs life a good life, while also allowing me to be able to have a dog.

The questions to my problems were posted at the bottom of my topic. ...It would be helpful if you had insight to those. :)

If the reason you want an emotional support dog is to make the dogs life better I don't think you understand what an emotional support dog is.

Emotional support dogs are not therapy dogs. They are not covered by the ADA as an accommodation so unless you have specific laws in your state the coffee shop and the library can legally tell you to take your dog out.

OrganizedChaos, LVN

Specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab. Has 10 years experience.

Have you tried therapy/therapist/medication? Are you diagnosed with anything?

My husband works in the oil field & is gone two weeks at a time, it's hard I know. But if you haven't tried going to therapy or medications just getting a emotional support dog to take everywhere might not help. On top of that like a PP you might not be able to.

Just get a dog, it doesn't have to be an "emotional support dog", there are great lap dogs that do the same. Go to your local pound or Humane Society & rescue a dog. It will be the best thing you ever did & trust me that dog will love you.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

Emotional support dogs do not meet the legal standards of service animals so no coffee shop or other facility would have a legal obligation to permit entry.

If you want a dog, get a small dog. Check out Animal Planet's Dogs 101 to find a suitable breed

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

Also you may not qualify for an emotional support dog simply for self diagnosed separation anxiety. You would need a licensed professional to diagnose and may need to try other therapeutic methods such as therapy first before a group would consider you a candidate.

Rescue dogs are a more economical alternative though you can't take the dog in public places. I had a chihuahua that preferred his kennel to roaming outside

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

I have a dog who is primarily indoors. Can't have a fence (stupid HOA rules!) and she just never mastered the concept of off-leash. However, she is happy and well adjusted. When I am not home, she has the whole basement and first floor to roam in. Being smaller, she easily litter trained for those days I'm at work and have to stay late (and rainy days- neither of us like being out on those days).

I really think you are looking more for the companionship of a pet, not an emotional support dog which is specially trained (not by an owner but by professionals). Part of this may be due to the fact that some people are claiming their pets are emotional support animals in order to get them into places where they normally would not be allowed. This article may help you understand the ADA and emotional support animals, especially this quote:

Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered service animals either. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability. It does not matter if a person has a note from a doctor that states that the person has a disability and needs to have the animal for emotional support. A doctor's letter does not turn an animal into a service animal.

If you are truly having difficulty with sleeping and separation anxiety, discussion with a medical professional should be the first step. They may make a referral for counseling, prescribe medication, or make other recommendations. Self-diagnosis and treatment (in your case, seeking an emotional support dog) may not address the underlying issue.

Having a small yard does not mean you cannot have a dog, there are dog owners who live in apartments/condos and they manage by taking the dog for walks and playing with them in parks.

You can't call the dog an emotional support dog just so you don't have to leave the dog at home when you are running errands.

Having a dog--even a small dog, is a lot of responsibility when you work or go to school and are not going to be home to walk the dog or have time to let it out.

If you want a dog for a companion because you want a dog, then make sure you understand all of the responsibilities that go with being a pet owner. You could also consider a cat.

As others have recommended, if you have a mental health issue, seek professional help.

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

Some employers and some states, notably Texas, will ask you about your mental health history, and you better tell them the truth.

There can be a question in your work application sounding like "do you have any health limitations that can directly or indirectly affect your performance for this job?" If you answer "no" and then state that you have anxiety so severe as you need a therapy animal, then it will be your lie in job application and authomatic termination. If you honestly say"yes", then, well, I personally cannot imagine an employer hiring you instead of quite similarly qualified candidate without any special requirements. In fact, I cannot imagine a nursing job except from some purely office-based which will allow service animal.

I agree with other posters. Before doing something so drastic as practically writing "I'm disabled" across yourself, try some real therapy as well as yoga, exercise and relaxation.

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 19 years experience.

Hello!

my husband is a firefighter. I am in nursing school. I get anxiety when he is gone (he is gone quite a bit ) and I can't sleep. It's really wearing me down.

L.s.s. I'm getting a dog but would like to make it an emotional support dog. If course, this dog would not actually go to work with me or to school with me . It would go lots of other places though.

Question:::

when applying for a job, can anyone look up medical info and discriminate against me for having an emotional support dog ?

If I didn't tell the hospital I applied at, would there be any way for them to find out prior to hiring me ?

No you cannot be discriminated against fro have a ESD, or cat or turtle for that matter. You also don't have to spend a lot of money on a specially trained dog. You can save the life of a shelter or rescue dog and register it with the National Support Dog association - You will need a doctors note as to why you need the dog. I believe having your dog registered caost $75.00 and comes with a little vest for your dog to wear in public saying Support Dog at work.

Hppy

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

I have 2 dogs. My husband is permanently away, having died of cancer. My dogs have no official title, but they are my most loyal friends.

When I return home, I drive into the attached garage and fetch the dogs from the laundry room where they have a doggie door and nice set up. We greet each other, then enter the house together. They do make me feel much more secure. They aren't small dogs.

I think you should just get a dog. Maybe get another pet to keep it company while you're gone. If you need to hire a dog walker sometimes, do it.

Why do you need a dog to go to a coffee shop? Either meet a friend or take your smartphone and post on Facebook or Allnurses like the rest of us.

RiskManager

Specializes in Healthcare risk management and liability.

The comments above that an emotional support animal is not a service animal under Federal law are spot on. The Feds have said only dogs and miniature horses qualify as service animals that must be reasonably accommodated. No more support pigs, birds or lizards. State law may differ.

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

This to me seems like a way for someone to try and legally take a dog into public places because they don't want to leave it home.

You have separation anxiety from him going to work? There is a much bigger issue here. Nobody is going to hire someone that needs to bring a dog to work with them. Get some therapy and a regular dog to keep you company. And it does not need to come to the stores with you. People who are blind or have terrible seizures need one with them. I eve saw one with a guy because it could detect when he was going to have a heart attack. These are life-threatening situations. Separation anxiety is not, I'm sorry. There is a huge difference here. And I'm not putting down any kind of mental illness, yours is just not life-threatening.

OrganizedChaos, LVN

Specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab. Has 10 years experience.

Instead of an emotional support dog, have a baby. You can take it everywhere & it follows you *everywhere*!

You will never be alone, again!

ixchel

Specializes in critical care.

Instead of an emotional support dog, have a baby. You can take it everywhere & it follows you *everywhere*!

You will never be alone, again!

Not even when you poop. :)