How to get a Service Dog for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) can be a debilitating condition affecting young and adult patients and making even the most basic everyday tasks incredibly difficult. If proper management is unavailable, a service dog may be an invaluable asset to those with POTS. Here’s how to get a service dog for POTS:
1. Research service dog organizations
It is important to do your research into service dog organizations that provide assistance dogs specifically for POTS. Most of these organizations require an application process, so reviewing each organization’s requirements and services is critical. Some points to consider include:
- Cost – How much will the organization charge for its services? Are there any additional costs beyond the initial fee?
- Training – Does the organization provide training classes, or do you have to do the training yourself?
- Location – Is the organization located within a reasonable distance of your home or will you have to travel to meet with them?
- Time Commitment – Does the organization require you to commit a certain amount of time to training and other activities?
2. Gather necessary documents
In order to apply for a service dog, you will need to provide information such as a letter from your doctor confirming your POTS diagnosis and documentation of your medical needs. You may also need to provide references, a photograph of yourself, and possibly a proof of residence. Your research should identify the specific documents you need to provide.
3. Find a trainer
Once you have been accepted by the service dog organization, the next step is to find a qualified trainer in your area who is willing to work with you and your service dog. You will want to ask questions such as:
- Experience – How much experience does the trainer have in working with clients with POTS?
- Specialty – Does the trainer specialize in a particular breed of dog, and how does this breed interact with POTS?
- Schedule – What days and times are available for training sessions and how flexible is the schedule?
- Cost – How much does the trainer charge for their services? Are there any additional costs?
4. Prepare to meet your service dog
Once you have selected a trainer and are ready to meet the service dog, it is important to be prepared. You will need to bring equipment such as a harness, leash, and treats to properly train the dog; you may also need to bring a toy or other items to help build a bond between you and the service dog.
5. Continue to ensure the service dog’s health
Once the service dog is in your home, you will need to continue to provide care and attention in order to ensure the dog remains healthy and well-behaved. This may include providing routine vet care, continuing regular training sessions, and ensuring the dog gets sufficient socialization and exercise on a daily basis.
By following these steps, you can ensure that you are able to get the service dog you need to better manage your POTS. The right service dog can be a wonderful asset, so don’t be afraid to take the steps necessary to get the help you need.