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Paul Flythe

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  Member Since : 23 February 2023  (Nashik )

Feeling anxious? Get an emotional support animal to help yourself 


An emotional support animal or ESA provides comfort, joy, and companionship to a person with mental health issues. ESAs provide a sort of emotional benefit to a person with a disability. The support from the animal can raise the spirits of the disabled person. The most common emotional support animals are dogs but other species such as cats, horses, pigs, ducks, and some birds are also used.

         There are ample benefits of an emotional support animal for a disabled person. Research shows that animals contribute significantly to improving mental health. A person can become relaxed and happy just by holding and petting an animal. Furthermore, when a crisis such as an anxiety attack occurs, emotional support animals can provide emotional connectivity and help the person in need. Emotional support animals can provide support to people who may have experienced trauma. Physical health is also positively affected as emotional support animals can decrease blood pressure. People who live alone can suffer from anxiety and depression caused by loneliness. The companionship of an emotional support animal can be considered a solution.

         An emotional support animal is different from a pet or a service animal. Service animals help disabled individuals perform tasks that they cannot perform. For example, a service animal may help a blind person as a guide during a walk, press an elevator button, fetch items, remind them to take medication, and alert them before a stroke. Service animals are trained to perform these tasks for a disabled person. On the other hand, emotional support animals are untrained and can only provide emotional support and companionship.

         There is a difference between getting a pet and specifically getting an emotional support animal. Suppose you are getting a dog as an emotional support animal. The best course of action would be to get an adult dog instead of a puppy. This is because you have to put in a lot of work to take care of a puppy as they grow up. A puppy needs to go out more often than an adult dog and you would have to work harder to feed and train them. As they are young, you have to help them learn everything, unlike an adult dog. Therefore, depending on your disability or condition, it may not be feasible to get a puppy.

         You do not need any type of certification to have an emotional support animal. There is a difference between emotional support animals and therapy animals or service animals. All you need to get an emotional support animal is a written note or letter from a registered therapist or physician. This will allow you to live with an emotional support animal in a place that normally does not allow animals or pets. You will also be allowed to fly with your emotional support animal but always check with the airlines if they allow emotional support animals on board. The real esa letter from your therapist needs to be renewed every year so be careful. If you do not have access to a physician, you can get consultations from online clinics.

         The breed of the dog matters but it is not the most important thing. Do some research about dog breeds and find out which type of dog breed is compatible with your lifestyle. The energy level of the dog is very important, therefore, select a breed that matches your energy levels. This is important because you do not want to get rid of your dog after some time. To find the best fit for your personality, you can hang out with dogs at your local shelter and do research accordingly.

         Some dog breeds are more suited for people with mental health issues. These breeds have greater tendencies to read people's emotions and provide the right action to calm down their owners. Collie and Cavalier are dog breeds that can become excellent companions for people with PTSD and depression. Yorkshire terriers can make strong connections with their owners. Labrador retrievers are best known to help people with ADD and autism. Other dog breeds that you can consider are golden retrievers, corgis, and beagles.

         Your emotional support animal does not need any kind of formal training. Dogs are extremely intuitive and intelligent when it comes to reading human behavior. It does not mean that you cannot train your emotional support animal. Training your emotional support animal is recommended because it can make the bond stronger.

         Emotional support animals are covered under the Federal Fair Housing Act. This act requires the landlord to accommodate people with disabilities and allow them to keep an emotional support animal with them even though they have a no-pet policy. A verification realesaletter for housing is required from a registered physician that states the need for the animal for the individual. The tenants are not required to pay additional money for keeping the animal but may be held financially responsible for damage caused to property by that animal. Emotional support animals are also not required under the law to wear special clothes or tags.

         The law is not clear in determining the eligibility of a person to get an emotional support animal and many ineligible people have tried to obtain an emotional support animal letter to take their pets on a plane without paying the fee. Similarly, ineligible people get emotional support animal letters to keep their pets in a no-pet housing community. These are unethical acts and may affect genuine people who need emotional support animals, therefore, avoid these acts for the betterment of society.

Useful Resources

Keep your ESA dog happy and healthy in a small apartment: tips and guidelines

10 Festive Foods that Can Be Dangerous for Your ESA

Are ESAs Permitted in College Dorms?

Maintaining Your ESA's Health: A Guide to Vet Visits Frequency

5 best dog breeds for you if you live in a flat

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