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Understand These 7 Things About Emotional Support Animals

Emotional support animals, or ESA’s, have been becoming more and more common in recent years. Though the idea of emotional support animals is not a new one, their presence in society has certainly increased in recent times. There are a few reasons for this: firstly, people have become more open to the idea of mental health and secondly, there has been an increase in laws that allow ESA’s into places where they were once not allowed. This is largely due to the work of organizations that campaigns for the rights of both people with mental health conditions and their emotional support animals. This article will go through seven important facts about emotional support animals.

1) What Is An Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal (ESA) is a pet that helps its owners with certain mental health conditions. They provide their owner with emotional and moral support and companionship. Emotional support animals are one of the most well-known therapies for the majority of mental issues. People suffering from depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder frequently employ these animals to alleviate their problems. These friends will help you navigate your mental instabilities, helping you to recover faster. When it comes to the benefits of an emotional support animal, there’s no doubt you will feel better when you have one of these animals by your side. However, not all mental health conditions can be treated by an ESA, but the owner will typically need a prescription from their doctor before they can get an animal.

2) Who Are The ESA Owners?

The majority of people who have an emotional support animal are those who have been given a prescription from a doctor. Some of the most common conditions include:

  • PTSD: those who have been through a traumatic event and suffer from PTSD
  • Depression: those who suffer from depression as a result of other conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
  • Anxiety: those who experience anxiety attacks that are caused by specific triggers, which vary depending on the person. If you have certain fears that cause intense anxiety then your ESA can help you deal with these triggers.
  • Insomnia: for those who have trouble sleeping due to stress or depression, an ESA can help them by providing comfort.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD: those who have a high level of these conditions can find it very difficult to live their everyday lives. An ESA will help them by providing the emotional support they need to stay calm and feel safe in public places.

3) How Can They Benefit Their Owners?

Emotional support animals provide more than companionship. They are able to give their owners a number of benefits that can help them with common mental health issues. These include:

  • Reducing Anxiety: the animal may bring relief by keeping you calm if you are in a place where there are triggers for anxiety attacks. For example, being around strangers all the time can cause a lot of stress for people who have anxiety, but an ESA in their company will help them deal with this.
  • Keeping Calm: the physical touch and the sound of purring from a cat or dog can keep your heart rate down so you don’t panic when you’re encountering certain triggers.
  • Reducing Psychosis: for people with schizophrenia or similar disorders, an ESA can help reduce the severity of their episodes by providing comfort.

4) What Animals Are Considered To Be Emotional Support Animals?

There are many animals that are considered to be emotional support animals, however, there are only a few that you can register officially. Some examples include cats,, horses, monkeys, rabbits, and birds. If you have a pet that provides you with emotional support, but it’s not an ESA according to your doctor, then you can still keep your pet as long as they don’t block other people from entering the building. In this case, you must have a note from your doctor stating that your animal is necessary for relieving symptoms.

5) How Do I Qualify For An ESA?

In order to qualify as an ESA owner, you need a letter from your mental health professional stating that they believe having the animal will help improve certain aspects of your mental health. This letter will serve as a legal permit and should be valid for at least one year. You also need to make sure that your animal is trained to act appropriately in public, so it doesn’t bother or attack other people while you are out and about. Once you obtain a letter from a doctor, you are good to go, since there is no law that requires you to register animals for support.

6) How Are Emotional Support Animals Different From Service Animals?

Even though emotional support animals provide similar benefits as service animals, there are some key differences between them. Firstly, an emotional support animal is a companion animal, whereas a service animal is trained to do specific tasks for its owner. Due to this difference, service animals need proper certification and registration to be legally allowed in certain places. Another difference is that service dogs are trained to deal with their owner’s disabilities, whereas ESA animals are not. However, this doesn’t mean that an animal can’t be both an emotional support animal and a service dog – the differences just need to be clarified before you take your pet out in public.

7) Rights of an ESA

The American Disability Act (ADA) has specified that these animals have certain rights. The following are the key policies established by the ADA.

The landlord has no authority to seek information about your medical condition or ESA.

There are no limits on the emotional support of an animal’s age or breed.

You may also fly anywhere with your emotional support buddy. That implies you’ll be able to fly with the animal, however, pets are typically carried as cargo.

Emotional support animals provide a number of benefits for their owners, including reducing anxiety, keeping calm, and reducing the severity of psychosis episodes. If you feel like you could benefit from having an ESA, make sure to speak to your mental health professional about getting a letter stating that fact. Remember that there is no law requiring you to register your animal as an ESA. As long as your pet is well-behaved in public, you are free to take them wherever you go!


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