Emotional Support Animals

Understanding Emotional Support Animals (ESA) and How They Can Help

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Emotional support animals (ESA) are not your ordinary pets. They can provide you with special therapeutic benefits. Some people think that ESAs are just like service dogs. But in reality, they are totally different. If you want to learn more about emotional support animals and how they can help, then you have come to the right place.

Emotional Support Animals

Any pet can offer its owner emotional support. However, with the Emotional Support Animals, the emotional support that they offer becomes legal. And for an animal to be a legal ESA, owners need a prescription letter from their licensed mental health professional. This letter says that the mental health professional recognizes that there is a need for the presence of this animal to improve ones’ disability. 

There is no required breed when getting legal documents for your pet to be an ESA. However, non-exotic animals like cats and dogs are the only animals that most therapists will consider. But as long as the mental health professional believes that the animal can help the owner, then they can apply for it to be a legal ESA. 

Benefits of Emotional Support Animals

Emotional Support Animals

Source: petrelocation.com

Most people have the tendency to feel stressed and having their pets around makes them more relaxed and offers tranquility. If your animal can deliver such peace during your difficult times, then it is important to consider their benefit to your condition. 

Animals have the capability to build a strong bond with their owners. And in return, their owners also develop a sense of responsibility and purpose for having their pets to take care of. With them around, your ESA can divert the persons’ attention and reduce stress triggers.

Who Needs ESA?

Emotional Support Animals

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So, how will you know if you are qualified to have an emotional support animal? Remember that it is up to your therapist to identify your need for ESA. There are certain conditions that a mental health professional might let you consider an ESA. Such conditions include attention deficit disorder (ADD), anxiety and depression, chronic stress, learning disabilities, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and mental illness. 

Also Read: Know About Cat Loneliness And Depression

Will Your Pet at Home Qualify as ESA?

Emotional Support Animals

Source: animal-counselor.com

If you are registering an ESA, any domesticated animal will qualify as long as you have your mental health professional’s approval. Dogs are the most common but some also register their cats. Remember that your animal needs to be registered by a therapist since the letter will be needed to complete the process. So, will your pet at home qualify to be your ESA? Yes, if they can be well-behaved and you are sure that they will not cause any disturbance. 

Emotional Support Animals vs Service Animals

Do not confuse the emotional support animal with the service animals. Service animals have specialized training for a specific task or duty that can help the person with a disability. And unlike them, the ESAs do not require training for their therapeutic value.

They are simply valuable emotionally for being with their owners. This simply means that under the American with Disabilities Act, emotional support dogs are not considered service dogs.