Did you know that your pet might be more helpful than Prozac for improving your mood? Emotional support animals are gaining support and popularity for their ability to help their owners improve mental health conditions in a natural, medication-free manner.
While further research is needed to tell the extent of how pets make us healthier, this 2018 systematic review of medical studies declared that pets do improve mental health conditions.
If you suffer from a mental health diagnosis, check out this detailed guest post from my friends over at CertaPet and learn more about emotional support animals. If you’re thinking of getting a pet or already have one, this could be a great option for naturally improving your health!
Here’s the guest post from my friends at CertaPet:
How To Know If Your Pet Makes A Good ESA
According to the emotional support animal laws, any pet can legally become an emotional support animal. Emotional support animals help those with certain psychological disabilities cope with the symptoms of their condition. Any pet that provides therapeutic benefit, improving the mental health and well being of someone with one of these conditions qualifies as an emotional support animal. Some pets have a natural disposition for ESA work. Learn more about how to know if your pet makes a good ESA.
ESAs Vs. Service Animals
Emotional support animals are often confused with service animals. Service animals are highly trained and have to get certifications in order to legally become a service animal. They perform specific tasks for their disabled (usually physically disabled) owners. A service dog can accompany its owner in any place open to the general public, even if it does not allow pets.
Only dogs and miniature horses are recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act as service animals. And animals can become an emotional support animal, as there is no training required or restrictions of types of pets. Emotional support animals are only allowed in places that are pet-friendly.
What Do ESAs Do?
There is no training required for an emotional support animal. The presence of an ESA is enough to ease anxiety and stress. Any pet that helps someone with a qualifying psychological disorder by providing support and comfort can technically qualify as an ESA. Many therapists only recognize the therapeutic benefit of dogs and cats.
What Makes A Good ESA?
The most critical consideration in how to know if your pet makes a good ESA is if they help you feel better. Emotional support animals do not need any formal training, but they do need to behave in public. They should be friendly around strangers and other animals. An emotional support animal that will be flying needs to stay calm in unfamiliar surrounds and loud noises, like on a plane. Certain dog breeds are more popular as emotional support animals because of their naturally calm and friendly personalities. Find out the best large cat breeds that make great emotional support animals.
Shelter Pets As ESAs
If you don’t already have a pet but think that an emotional support animal would help improve your mental health, head to your local shelter to find a new furry best friend. Shelters are full of pets of all different breeds, sizes, and ages looking for a loving home. Read more about adopting a pet to become a emotional support animal.
Emotional support animals are important to those with certain psychological disorders. An ESA helps their owner cope with the symptoms of their condition, improving their mental health and well being. Emotional support animals do not need any formal training as a service animal does. Their presence alone provides therapeutic benefit for those with qualifying conditions. While any animal can legally become an ESA, many therapists will only write ESA letters for dogs and cats. It’s important that an ESA is friendly towards strangers (including other animals) and are calm in new surroundings.