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EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

With one in four people in the USA alone suffering from an emotional condition, it comes as no surprise that emotional support animals have been rapidly growing in popularity.

Want to know more about what an ESA is, as well as whether or not your pet would qualify as one?

Here is everything you need to know…

WHAT EXACTLY IS AN EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL?

An emotional support animal is an animal that is able to reduce the symptoms of an emotional or mental disorder, simply by just being there.

While dogs and cats tend to be the most common types of ESA, just about any animal can qualify, whether this may be a bird, a rabbit, or anything else.

IS AN ESA THE SAME AS A SERVICE DOG?

This is a common question that many have, but an ESA and a service dog are quite different…

A service dog is trained to do specific jobs that its owner cannot do due to a disability. This could be anything from providing mobility support to alerting an owner about an oncoming seizure.

On the other hand, an ESA isn’t trained to carry out specific tasks. Instead, the mere presence and companionship of an ESA is enough to help relieve symptoms and improve the life of the animal’s owner.

WHAT CAN AN ESA HELP WITH?

From depression to anxiety to PTSD, there are so many different emotional conditions that an ESA can help with.

How exactly do they help?

In a number of scientifically-proven ways, such as:

  • An increase in neurotransmitters – there are several studies that show how dogs are able to increase the amount of dopamine and other neurochemicals secreted by the brain. These promote feelings of happiness and love, reducing everything from depression to loneliness to anxiety. Simply looking into a dog’s eyes can have this effect, as can stroking them

  • Unconditional love and social support – emotional disorders can be isolating, but an ESA provides constant companionship and unconditional love. This can help a person feel more connected and improve their mental health

  • Stabilizes emotions – a person dealing with an emotional condition will encounter so many different contrasting emotions. However, the supportive and neutral state of an ESA helps to stabilize and reset human emotions

  • Reduces stress – stress goes hand-in-hand with emotional disorders, and this is something else an ESA can help with

WOULD MY PET QUALIFY AS AN ESA?

As mentioned earlier, just about any animal could potentially qualify as an ESA. If you already have a pet, and you suffer from an emotional condition, then all you need is an ESA letter for your pet.

How do you get an ESA letter?

The quickest and easiest way is by using a reputable ESA website, such as CertaPet. They offer a pre-screening that takes just five minutes. Your information will then be reviewed by a licensed medical health professional (LMHP), after which, if you qualify, you will receive your ESA letter.

Watch Out For ESA Scams

There are several ESA websites out there, but you do need to be careful about ensuring that you pick a reputable one. In order for your ESA letter to be official, it needs to be properly reviewed and signed off by a LMHP, so any website that offers instant ESA letters are likely to be a scam.

With around 25% of the population suffering from an emotional disorder, ESAs can make a huge difference in so many lives. While antidepressants and other similar medications may be the usual go-to when it comes to mental health, an ESA can bring about similar results, making this a route well worth considering.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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