What is an ESA?

What is an ESA?

An emotional support animal (ESA) is a companion animal prescribed to a patient suffering from an emotional or mental illness. Several studies have shown the benefits and improved healing of patients who own a pet or who come into frequent contact with animals. An ESA gives comfort, support, love and companionship to its owner. This can help to ease the symptoms of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and phobias (click here to find out more)

What are the Benefits of Having an ESA?

There are so many benefits to having an ESA as part of your therapeutic treatment.

· Spending time with your furry friend will illicit the release of endorphins and other happy hormones. Rhythmic petting of your dog or cat is comforting for both you and your pet. Thus, decreasing anxiety and depression.

· Companionship. Your emotional support pup is a devoted, loyal and non-judgmental companion.

· Simply having that extra presence in your home can ease the stress of being alone or vulnerable.

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· An ESA can help to reduce anxiety. Either by being a reliable presence when you are at home or by being a buffer when you are out and about.

· Your ESA can aid in the reduction of stress levels. By instigating a play session or encouraging you to get out of doors to take your doggo for a walk. Letting off some steam and getting some fresh air will work wonders!!

· Your ESA can help to keep your mind off troublesome and worrying thoughts. This, in turn, will help you to relax and sleep better. Which, in turn, will better equip you to deal with the stresses next time around.

· Having an emotional support dog gives you the opportunity to socialize and interact with fellow dog walkers in the park. This will combat loneliness and isolation.

ESA Letter? What is an ESA Letter and Why do You Need One?

So, this is the crux of the matter. To have an ESA you need an ESA letter. What is an ESA letter? It is a letter or prescription written by a licensed mental health practitioner (LMHP) that states that you, as the patient, require a companion animal as part of the therapeutic treatment plan for your mental or emotional condition.

Certapet can help with this. Once you have taken the 5-minute pre-screening questionnaire and been approved for an ESA letter. You will be paired with a LMHP in your state. This mental health professional will consult with you online to assess your need for an ESA and thereafter write you an ESA letter. You could have an ESA letter within 2 business days!

How to Get an Emotional Support Animal?

Once you have an ESA letter in your hand, the rest is easy! Just about any animal can be an emotional support animal. You just need to decide what kind of four-legged friend will be best suited to your lifestyle and emotional or mental needs. Generally, dogs and cats are more suitable. Some have gone as far as approving, birds and bunnies as ESAs too.

Do I Need to Certify my Emotional Support Animal?

An ESA letter is awarded to a person with a mental or emotional disability, not to a pet. You most certainly do not need to certify or register your ESA. Stay well away from websites offering to do so for a fee. These are more than likely fraudulent!

Does my ESA Need to Wear A Vest?

Wearing a vest when out and about might help to make others more aware of why your dog may go places where others are not normally allowed. Yet, it is not required by law.

Where to Find an Emotional Support Animal

Your ESA can be any animal that you regard as a source of comfort and support. You might already have a pet that ticks all the ESA boxes. Or, you might like with the idea of having one to add to your quality of life. Either way, the first step is to take the Certapet 5-minute online pre-screening questionnaire. Within a very short space of time, you will know whether you qualify for an ESA!!

Pug – buy from a reputable breeder or look to rescue centres.

Want a Purebred Puppy? Find a Reputable Breeder

Have you done all the research to find out which breed is best suited for you? Whether you have decided on a Pug or a Pyrenese, the next step is to find a reputable breeder. Here are a couple of pointers to keep in mind:

· The responsible dog or cat breeder will be happy to answer any questions that you might have about their specific breed, their breeding program and the animals that they breed.

· You should strongly consider visiting the premises where your future furry friend is bred. You will want to check that the place is clean and hygienic. Just as important is to ensure that your kitten or puppy is raised in a friendly and loving environment. An animal raised by a loving family is far more likely to grow up with the correct characteristics that we seek in an animal companion.

· Ask for health certification of the parents of your new pet.

· Be sure to look for a conscientious breeder. One who is knowledgeable about the breed and its needs. A responsible breeder will have the well-being of each animal as foremost priority. They will strive to breed only the healthiest and most well-rounded animals.

Mixed Breeds Make Great ESAs

A purrty pavement special or a magnificent mutt! There are plenty of advantages to adopting a kitty or a doggo with mixed heritage! Mixed breeds tend to carry less genetic diseases. They live longer, generally healthier, lives. Mixed breed dogs are usually less demanding when it comes to exercise and mental stimulation needs too.

Adopt, Don’t Shop

Animal adoption centers and rescue shelters always have plenty of supportive four-legged friends looking to be a lucky someone’s next BFF. These places are a wonderful place to start your search for your ESA. There are so many advantages to rescuing an animal.

– You get to skip the naughty, destructive, messy puppy stages.

– You know what you are getting in terms of size, behavior and personality.

– You will be giving a loyal and supportive animal a 2nd chance at a great life.

Getting an ESA is Easy!

If you feel that you could do with kitty cuddles or a canine companion, click here to begin your ESA journey! In no time at all, you could be the proud recipient of an ESA letter. Any dog or cat that you choose to make a part of your life will then be your super hero companion pet!

For more on pets from Everything Horse, click here.

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