The world is filled with stressors that make it difficult for some people to manage everyday life. Coping with these overwhelming feelings is hard, so many people look to pets for emotional support.
An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) isn’t a regular pet. Unlike service dogs, ESDs are not trained to perform certain tasks. Their sole purpose is to be a source of comfort and compassion for their owners.
ESA’s are committed to helping you manage the symptoms of anxiety, depression, or any mental health issue. This article will touch on all aspects of Emotional Support Dogs and show you how to register your own.
Choosing an ESD
Emotional support dogs provide relief from emotional distress. ESDs give confidence to their owners and help them lead a happy and productive life. Here are some factors to consider when choosing an ESD:
- Many breeds are an excellent choice as an emotional support dog. Look to local shelters and rescues for recommendations on which breeds make great ESDs.
- Before you decide on the breed of dog you want, think about your lifestyle. Do you live in an apartment that may be too small for a large breed that needs lots of exercise?
- Not every dog makes a great ESD. Make sure you choose a breed that is known for its calmness.
How Do I Get My ESA Letter?
Emotional support dogs don’t have to be certified, unlike service animals that require documentation. You just need a letter of recommendation from a licensed mental health professional.
Animals for emotional support are considered “certified” once you’ve obtained your ESA letter. Landlords who ask for registration IDs are not enforcing a real policy. An ESA letter is all that you need as proof.
If you don’t have a mental health provider, you can either make an appointment with a professional and ask for a letter, or you can use an online service to do this. The latter means that you’ll have to complete a mental health evaluation.
More Differences Between ESDs & Service Animals
ESDs are there to provide emotional support and relief in times of emotional distress. They are therapeutic caregivers that help their owners lead stable lives.
A psychiatric service dog is different because this type of animal performs a specific task. Psychiatric service dogs may turn on the lights in whatever room their owner is entering. This is to help them deal with phobias or symptoms or another mental disorder.
Rights for Emotion Support Animals
Animals are companions that create strong bonds with owners. Dogs are able to form close connections with humans and display signs of affection. These nurturing animals must be protected and valued.
Emotional support animals have certain permissions. They are able to travel on a plane without a carrier or extra fee. In rental units, they may be exempt from policies that prohibit owning a pet.
Even though there is a lot of controversy surrounding the enforceability of ESA guidelines, support animals and owners are guaranteed some legal rights beyond those of normal pet owners. To maintain these benefits, ensure that you have a valid ESA letter.
The ESA letter is written on your LMPH’s letterhead, and offers the following:
- Establishes your mental health issue
- Recommends aid from a support animal
- Contains the LMPH’s license number, signature, and date
ESA letters are only valid for one year in terms of air travel. If you are someone who travels frequently, make sure you renew your ESA letter every year. This will help you avoid fees or holdups.
Photo is from pexels
Guest Author Bio
Trenton J. Smith
Trenton is an aspiring writer who loves to research and write about a wide variety of topics. When he is not writing, he enjoys gardening and long walks with his dog Boomer.