An emotional support animal is a furry, four-legged companion pet that offers several benefits to a person suffering from mental disabilities. An ESA is prescribed to people by certified psychologists or physiatrists.
However, to adopt an ESA, individuals must fall under the federal definition of disability. Unlike service animals, these animals do not receive specialized training but can still help improve the patient’s quality of life.
Adopting an ESA is particularly benefits folks who are suffering from anxiety and depression.
Here are a few reasons why you should get an emotional support animal:
ESA pets provide their owners’ plenty of mental and emotional health benefits. Pets are intelligent creatures that positively impact the psychological state of their owners by offering compassion and reassurance. With a furry friend to entertain you at home, you will never feel alone. ESA thus offers emotional support to people who feel isolated or dejected.
A good friend can help you get through the toughest times in life. An ESA offers love and companionship to people suffering from mental disorders. The pets help them cope with the treatment process. What’s best is that if you get an official ESA letter, your furry pal can accompany you practically anywhere you go. This prevents individuals from feeling lonely and isolated. Most restaurant owners and landlords will be considerate of your need for constantly having an ESA around as long have you have an official letter that has been prescribed by a certified mental health professional.
Pet owners will agree that spending time with a furry friend is known to reduce stress levels. Having a pet by your side brings down the feeling of alienation and anxiety in public spaces. This is particularly beneficial for folks who don’t like meeting new people and avoid social contact with other. Like other stress-relieving methods, spending time with your pet releases endorphins, also known as feel-good hormones in the body. This plays an integral role in bringing down stress levels. People who spend time with an ESA benefit from low levels of stress and anxiety. Additionally, spending more time with a pet promotes anti-stress benefits that play an important role in bringing down cortisol and high blood pressure levels.
Walking around and spending time with an emotional support animal promotes a sense of familiarity and security that calms down the owner. This is primarily beneficial for people who experience anxiety when traveling to new places or when exposed to the new environment. Pets reduce the feeling of uneasiness and act as a source of comfort for most pets.
Patients suffering from illnesses or mental disorders often require a healthy distraction that will prevent them from feeling low. Caring for an ESA reduces anxiety, allowing folks to remain calm. This offers patients an escape from their usual lives, allowing patients to stay happy and cheerful no matter what.
Walking, feeding and taking care of an ESA may create a sense purpose for people suffering from depression. This will help them adopt a healthier lifestyle. Not to mention, caring for a pet increases the chances of socialization as you are bound to meet new people when taking your pet to the vet or for a walk. All this, in turn, helps patients lead a happier and healthier life.
The technical answer is “no” – you don’t need certification from any company to have a companion animal. All you need is a letter from licensed mental health professional in order to legally have an ESA!