It is estimated that one out of every four Americans lives with disabilities that impair their cognitive or physical abilities. For many of these individuals, the companionship of owning an animal comes with plenty of benefits. Aside from reducing isolation and providing comfort, emotional support animals can help people with different health conditions, including bipolar disorder, PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
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When choosing the right animal to serve as your emotional support, cats and dogs are the most preferred, but you still need a professional’s advice to help you make a more informed decision. Keep reading to learn more about choosing an emotional support animal in California.
Registering an Emotional Support Animal
When you’re suffering from a mental health condition and believe that you need an emotional support animal to improve your life quality, you should seek a licensed therapist’s service to get an ESA certification. This means you’ll have to undertake an emotional support animal registration before the health professional approves whether you require an ESA letter.
It’s important to note that an ESA letter will only be valid for a year and should be renewed to be effective. With an ESA license, you can be accommodated in the aircraft’s air cabin without parting with additional fees. You can even live in apartments that have a “no pets” policy. Despite the animal you have chosen, they should be properly trained to behave in public.
This is especially the case if you plan to travel, and you don’t want your passengers to find your ESA aggressive.
Disabilities that may require an Emotional Support Dog
If you have recently undertaken an anxiety nursing diagnosis, have PTSD or severe panic attacks, you will find relief by having a companion dog. A licensed healthcare expert will evaluate whether you have the disability and whether ESD is best suited for your symptoms. It is still important to note that the American with Disability Act doesn’t consider emotional support dogs as service dogs.
Service dogs can go to places the emotional support dogs are disallowed, including grocery stores and restaurants.
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Important Consideration When Choosing an Emotional Support Animal
When choosing an emotional support animal, you must remember that every animal has different and unique traits. This is why you have to select one that best suits your requirements and lifestyle. There are specific traits that every ESA should possess.
Here are a few practical considerations you should consider.
When planning to find an emotional support animal, you should consider whether your family members, especially children, may be allergic. If possible, you should have interacted with your potential emotionally support animal for a while before making a decision. You may also want to consider the hypoallergenic options.
A Friendly and Reliable Companion Dog
The emotional support animal should be friendly to strangers, family, and friends. They also should behave appropriately when in public places. If you suffer from a panic attack and anxiety, your companion animal should be calm and help you through your depressing situation. Remember that they can hardly be of help if they are already stressed.
Dogs require several supplies, including training equipment, toys, food, among others. That’s why it’s important to evaluate how much you should spend on your dog on a weekly and monthly basis to determine the breed that’s right for you. Other costs you may want to take into account include pet health certificate and official ESA Letter.
For example, many of the large breeds of dogs require a lot of care and have many expenses compared to the smaller counterparts.
Factor in Your Needs
Before you consider bringing a companion animal, especially a dog, you should first analyze your family’s needs. If you have small children, they may see dogs as toys, and they may not be great companions. Some dog breeds may even be excessively aggressive or loyal and may not be best suited for a socially active family.
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Emotional support animals can come in handy in ensuring that you effectively manage the symptoms of your condition. However, it’s important that you undertake an emotional support dog registration at a health care facility before you can be approved for an emotional support animal. An ESA is even allowed to fly with the owner on a plane, making travel even more enjoyable and exciting.
Other factors, such as your family’s needs and the amount to spend on the animal per month, all play a role in bringing a companion that will care and provide for your needs.
Have you been recently diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, depression, or anxiety attacks? If so, there are high chances that you may need the services of an emotional companion animal.