Does Your ESA Need Emotional Support?

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Does Your ESA Need Emotional Support? May 31st, 2017

A mental health professional prescribes emotional Support Animals to patients experiencing different emotional disabilities. ESAs are usually cats and dogs but can include other domesticated pets, like birds, fish and hamsters, and offer their owners/handlers constant companionship and unconditional love (dogs) that in turn help alleviate the symptoms of their condition. In short, these little animal friends offer emotional support. However, there comes a time when these same animals may also require emotional support, and why not?

Animals feel just as much as humans do so it is not a surprise that they also get the occasional blues. As a responsible owner and a good human being, it is your job to not make everything about yourself and pay attention to the emotional needs of your ESA. Let’s look at some of the signs that may indicate that your emotional support animal could use a little emotional support himself.

  • Sleeping All The Time – If your ESA dog or bird shuts out the world by sleeping through most of the day, both in your presence and absence, definitely something is wrong.sleeping dog
  • Loss Of Interest – If you notice your ESA hamster is no longer running on the wheel or that your dog is no longer interested in going out for walks, or seems generally slow, less responsive and less active, that is clearly an indication of depression and lack of emotional support.
  • Loss Of Appetite – Every animal loves food, so if you detect your ESA is not showing much interest in the delicious treats that they used to love, it is a giant red flag.
  • Lack Of Participation – Do you feel you are dragging your cat or dog to do things that they took initiative for before? This is a big cause for concern and something you should address quickly.
  • Paw Licking – Excessive chewing or licking may be a sign of psychological or physiological issues. Depressed dogs especially, will frequently lick their paws to provide comfort to themselves.

What to Do

Once you have confirmed your ESA needs emotional support, it is time to get cracking. Here are the top 4 ways you can treat anxiety, depression and lack of purpose in your pet.

 

  • Exercise

 

Exercise is a great way tojogging with dog boost the immune system because it activates the lymph system. The lymph system’s ducts, vessels and nodes are capable of killing and filtering any unwanted bacteria and free radicals that may be making your ESA emotionally unstable.

 

  • Musiccat-listening-music

 

Not every ESA will respond to music, but some will be deeply engaged when their favorite tunes come on. Plus, music can be quite effective at healing the emotions, which is just what your ESA needs.

 

  • Mental Stimulation

 

An emotional support animal whose mind is idle will be more subjected to depression due to boredom and inactivity. Stimulating their minds is a fun way to ward off anxiety and stress. For dogs, a good way is to spread delicious pet treats all over the place and watch them work their noses. To grab attention of your cat, you can use feathery, bouncy plush toys and watch her go nuts with excitement.

 

  • Be a Positive Role Model

 

We know, easier said than done, especially when you are going through a lot, but remember your actions and overall energy can affect the emotional health of your ESA. If you get abusive during your bouts of anger and excitement, know it is not fair to your pet. Try to not give your little friend too much of a hard time.