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Summary | What Are Emotional Support Animals (ESA) | How to Register Your Pet
"If you are looking for a loyal friend and reliable companion, consider registering your pet as an emotional support animal. These creatures are designed to bring comfort and coziness to their owners, and will always be there when you need endorsement and assistance. The process starts with verification via letter from a licensed therapist or psychologist. You may also benefit from obtaining an ID card or other items which makes it clear that your pet is an emotional support animal."
Emotional Support Animals
Emotional support animals are pets that bring comfort to their owners and reduce stress and anxiety levels. They are rather loyal friends who are always ready to lend a helping hand if the owner needs their support. ESA help to cope with stressful situations easier, bring calmness and pacification. Scientists have long proven that playing with animals or stroking them helps a person improve their mood, adds self-confidence, makes them more sociable and friendly.
Virtually any animal can be an animal of emotional support. Most people choose dogs and cats. However, rabbits, hamsters, parrots and even reptiles can also be wonderful ESAs. The main condition is that the animal should bring you comfort and peace. Moreover, if you already have a pet with whom staying helps to improve your mental and emotional state, you can register it as an ESA.
An emotional support animal doesn’t need to undergo special training, as it should not perform any special tasks. However, each handler can teach their pet to fulfill the basic necessary commands. If you plan to train the animal yourself, we recommend that when choosing ESA pay attention to breeds with high trainability and mild temperament.
When Will They Be Useful?
First of all, ESA affects the character of a person, changing him for the better. People become more friendly, welcoming and cheerful around animals. In addition, the pet helps to make new acquaintances and friends, often being the topic of conversation. Also, people become calmer and more balanced, because the animal reduces the overall stress level and brings a feeling of security.
Emotional support animals will also be useful for treating mental disorders in the early stages. For example, they are great at helping their owners cope with depression and burnout. Regular outdoor walks with the animal can help free your mind of obsessive thoughts and encourage physical activity. Taking care of their pets, people feel their importance and significance, get rid of suicidal thoughts and have a more optimistic outlook on life.
The first step towards obtaining an ESA involves consulting with your therapist or psychiatrist. It is important to clarify how competent the doctor is in matters of emotional support animals. The specialist will assess your psychological state and will be able to understand whether the ESA will help in your particular case. Then the professional may recommend you obtaining an ESA and will give you an ESA letter.
After receiving the necessary documents from your therapist, it might be helpful in the communication of your pet's status to others to create an ID card. An ID card is 100% optional and not legally required. You can use this online service to get a laminated Emotional Support Animal ID Card or a harness that states your dog's status. Nevertheless, an ID card and other items from the ESA have their advantages, which we will talk about below.
Online Services VS Offline Consultation
Since emotional support animals are not officially service animals, you do not need special documentation for them. To find out if you can become the owner of an ESA, you can use both an offline consultation with a specialist and online services. Online services seem to be an even more convenient option now.
It is important to choose a verified website. There you have to fill out a questionnaire with questions about your health condition. This questionnaire will help you identify the indications and contraindications that you have. After filling out the questionnaire on the site, your answers will be redirected to specialists, who will assess the situation and provide an answer as soon as possible. Then you will be able to register the animal as an ESA.
An offline consultation with a specialist includes the same points. However, in this case, instead of filling out a questionnaire, you will have to talk to a therapist and talk about your concerns so that the doctor can decide on further treatment for your mental disorder.
The Benefits of ESA Registration
There are several benefits to getting the proper documentation for an emotional support animal. First, this concerns housing. With an official letter from your Doctor, you have the right to pay extra to have an ESA. Also, an emotional support animal can use common areas in the house, for example, an elevator, a hall, etc.
There are also certain concessions for the ESA when traveling. In addition, with permission, the animal can accompany you to classes or work. After all, it is there to help people that experience stress in their daily routine.