What Is an Emotional Support Animal?
People keep pets for very many reasons. Whether you keep yours just for joy or companionship, you may also need it for emotional support—if a certified therapist proves that it’s fit for that role.
Emotional Support Animal Definition
Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are pets that are kept solely for providing emotional support. Ideally, they may just need the necessary training that’s required for all other pets and no specialized training after that.
Depending on your preferences, you can have any animal as an ESA. In most cases, however, most pet lovers prefer dogs and cats.
However, it is advisable that if your needs go past just emotional support, you should get yourself a service dog. The best part of having an ESA is that they’re protected by the Fair Housing Act (FHA).
This means that once a certified mental health practitioner has proven that you need the animal, you’re at liberty to have it even in homes where the landlords don’t allow pets. It doesn’t end there still.
If you have an ESA, your landlord won’t charge you extra pet fees. You can also travel with it on planes for free if it is a small one.
Perhaps the only significant restriction with Emotional Support Animals is that you may not be permitted to have it in public areas with a strict no pet policy, such as shopping malls and restaurants.
How do you get an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?
Before setting out in search of an ESA, it is worth noting that these are not just any ordinary pets. To have one, you must meet the qualification requirements of owning it.
You may qualify to get an Emotional Support Animal if you suffer from conditions like panic attacks, depression, anxiety, phobias, and PTSD. ESAs are usually recommendable if you’ve tried prescription medications but got undesired side effects or if the medications didn’t help your condition.
To get one, you’ll have to pass a disability test, and the certified therapist who conducted the test on you proves that an ESA can help improve your symptoms. After the approval, you’ll be given an ESA letter and the green light to get the animal, for example, a dog.
If you prefer dogs, for instance, the one you choose can be of any size, breed, and type. You can always find them in dog rescue centers and shelters.
Since you only need this dog for emotional support, you won’t need to train it to perform any other tasks for you. Their role is simple: To keep you company throughout and help alleviate the emotional trauma symptoms that could be bothering you.
For the ‘certification,’ you will only need an ESA letter to prove that you qualify to have an Emotional Support Dog (ESD). You should get this letter only from a certified mental health therapist—and for your information; an ESD can be any dog you like.
What to Know When Getting an Emotional Support Animal
Now, while it sounds like an excellent idea to have an ESA, if you decide to, for example, go for an Emotional Support Dog, you should be aware that not all dogs are the same. Ideally, your focus should be on a dog that you can easily manage.
A small-sized dog would be a viable option if you stay in an apartment with limited space. With a smaller dog, you won’t have to worry about a lot of space to move around and even exercise.
Apart from that, do some little background research to see how your ESD may affect your condition or day-to-day activities. For instance, a hyperactive dog may be the opposite of what you need if you’re battling severe anxiety.
Instead, you’ll need a calmer companion that won’t cause you any more stress. You will need to ask as many questions as possible to ascertain that the dog you finally take with you is required.
Care for Emotional Support Dogs—what you should Know
Caring for your ESD shouldn’t be complicated. Here are a few basics to follow.
- Regular Exercises
Regularly exercising with your pet will keep both of you in perfect shape physically. It will also increase the bond between you and make it trust you even more. Keep in mind that if you don’t take your dog out for walks regularly, it may gain excessive weight and also end up being obese.
- Routine Vet Checkups
A routine vet checkup is a primary necessity if you wish to see the pet happy and healthy. During these checkups, your vet will mostly focus on the animal’s physical health, dental health, and internal checkups.
Depending on the size, body condition, or breed of your dog, the vet will help you schedule good periods to come back for routine checkups. If you pick the pet when it’s still growing, ensure that it has been given all the necessary vaccinations.
- Proper Nutrition
Proper nutrition for your ESD will also ensure that it keeps fit always. While dogs eat most human foods, you will also need to provide it with foods that are specially formulated just for them.
The feeds you give your dogs shouldn’t contain any chemical preservatives. The chemical additives usually added to dog feeds are known to cause ill-health conditions that can cause a lot of health problems for your dog.
It is recommendable that you insist on all-natural dog foods with no preservatives and also that soy and corn free.
You will also need to take care of your dog’s external hygiene by grooming it regularly. Be sure to brush its coat and trim the nails when necessary. You should also bath it regularly and treat it for parasites that could be hiding under the skin.
- Shower it with Love
A simple way of showering your ESD with love is rewarding it with treats. From doggie biscuits to cakes, and cookies there are many options for showing your canine companion some love.
You can take this a notch higher by celebrating its birthday too. Here’s a complete guide by TailBangers on how to celebrate a perfect doggie birthday here.
When rewarding your dog with treats, ensure that the gifts are all-natural and savory.
An Emotional Support Animal also deserves to be healthy and ‘happy’ so you can also get the medical benefits of having it around you.
The main function of an ESD should primarily be emotional and psychological support. But let’s be honest: an animal buddy will always be an amazing attractor for the other sex. The natural charm of a dog will be the perfect ice breaker for a conversation or for getting to know someone. Should you lack a fitting partner to take your doggo for a romantic walk, you will surely find the perfect lady to do so via the Ivana Models Escort Service. No matter what dog you prefer, any lady will look simply excellent by its side!