The term ‘emotional support animal‘ or ESA is a new term, not all persons are familiar with. If you feel you qualify for a certification, which will allow you to take your pet with on travels, there is a process you must follow. These are some of the common questions asked when one considers having their pet certified as an ESA.
What is an ESA (Emotion Support Animal)?
Anxiety and stress are common mental issues people suffer today. These emotional disorders can be a result of a traumatic event that has occurred or simply your personality and your difficulty in handling day-to-day activities. Some medications can help some people deal with these emotions; for others, they need companionship to help them deal with situations. These companions are your emotional support animal or ESA.
Emotional support animals are pets that serve as your companion to help comfort you and get you through events by calming your emotions. Studies have proven pets are able to minimize a person’s negative symptoms. Therapists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals can prescribe an ESA for their patients who they feel will benefit from having a companion pet with them throughout the day.
Which Pets qualify for ESA?
An emotional support animal is any domesticated pet that does not require training. Their role as an ESA is mainly to be in your presence to reduce your emotional upset or psychological disability. The only training they would require is to be able to be in public settings with acceptable behaviors.
There has been a significant amount of abuse concerning the ESA program. This abuse is making it difficult for mental health professionals to know which pets work best as there have been concerns on which pets should safely be allowed on commercial airlines.
How to Qualify for an ESA
ESA certification is much like obtaining a prescription from your medical doctor. Just like a prescription, an ESA cannot legally be used unless it has been determined by a medical professional that you suffer from a qualifying health condition. A qualifying health condition can include suffering from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other qualifying mental health condition your physician feels an ESA will address.
How to Register an Emotional Support Animal
An ESA or emotional support animal is different than a service animal which has been trained to detect specific medical conditions. Registering an ESA is done by receiving a letter from a mental health professional, which states you require the presence of your ESA due to a qualifying emotional disability. These letters are typically valid for one year from when they are issued.
Having your pet registered as your ESA is a voluntary process; however, without a letter of recognition by a mental health professional, you cannot legally take your animal into specific areas.
Legal Rights Associated with ESAs
Once you have received recognition from a mental health professional stating it serves your emotional needs to have an ESA accompany you, there are legal protections in place:
Housing Rights- With a qualifying letter of recognition for an ESA, you are allowed to have a pet in your residence even if it is designated as a ‘no pet’ housing development.
Air Travel-When you have the qualifying document from your mental health professional for an ESA, you are allowed to bring your pet into the aircraft cabin. Always contact your airline before the departure date to learn their specific rules regarding this privilege.
Public Places-Private entities or commercial buildings that have posted there are no pets allowed do not have to permit ESAs in under the law. Because an ESA is not trained as a ‘service animal,’ restaurants, hotels, and other public places do not have to allow them to enter. Check ahead if you are planning to visit these places to learn their individual rules.
The ESA process is in place to help people through what they find emotional events. These pets help to keep you calmer and more able to deal with stress or activities that cause anxiety. ESAs also help you to deal with depression and other emotional life events.
The Number of Fake Emotional Support Animals Increasing
The number of fake emotional support animals is increasing because it has become easier to use online services to falsify the need for one. On the Internet, almost anyone can pose as a licensed mental health professional and provide the ESA letter that is needed to certify almost any pet as an emotional support animal. This practice jeopardizes the legitimacy of the ESA system.
Getting Around the ESA System
There are many individuals who can legitimately benefit from having an emotional support animal. Such certified animals can help those who have been diagnosed with certain emotional health issues. However, there is an increase in the number of individuals claiming they need the support of an ESA animal. To be approved for ESA status, all that is needed is a letter from a therapist stating that your animal is necessary for improving your emotional wellbeing.
Today, thousands of websites offer an easy process for obtaining an ESA approval letter. Instead of fully evaluating the patient, these sites often require a quick survey or phone conversation. Once that is complete, they may offer to sell the patient a vest for their ESA to validate it as an “official emotional support animal.”
Be Aware of These Red Flags
Uncertified mental health practitioners that provide fake letters and individuals fraudulently claiming they need an ESA to make it more difficult for individuals who really need the support of an ESA.
If you are dealing with an online company to legitimately obtain an ESA letter, here are a few red flags to watch for:
Do they offer instant approval and processing of your ESA letter?
It takes more than just asking for an ESA letter to legitimately receive one. There are certain conditions that qualify a person for a letter, and this usually requires at a minimum, an interview session to determine if the request is valid. An unscrupulous service may not bother going through the proper process to qualify patients first before offering to process a letter instantly.
Do they offer to sell you a certified emotional support animal?
There is no certification or registration requirement for ESAs. The only certification required is for a person who has qualified for an ESA letter that provides authorization for him or her to use their pet as an ESA. Any service that offers to sell you an “already certified” emotional support animal is acting in a fraudulent manner.
How to Legitimately Obtain an ESA Letter
For an ESA letter to be considered valid, a licensed mental health professional must issue it. The individual may be a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. Such a professional will often suggest that the patient also participates in another form of therapy to help with his or her emotional health issue. Examples of emotional health issues that patients might benefit by receiving approval of an ESA letter include:
Yes, there are online services that are legitimate. These services would normally request access to your medical records. They will also require that you go through an interview to ensure that you qualify for an ESA letter. Many services do offer the provision of being in contact with mental health professionals who will help you navigate the process of receiving an authentic ESA letter. However, if you do choose to pursue an ESA letter online, proceed carefully, and remain aware that there are also many services that issue fake emotional support animal letters.
Get an Emotional Support Animal Letter for your specific health needs from EzCare Clinic.EzCare Clinic is an authentic business that can help you get through the entire process smoothly. Schedule an appointment today!
Emotional support animals provide much-needed comfort and company. They help boost the moods of their owners and alleviate anxiety and depression. While cats are known to be naughty as well as playful, they make magnificent emotional support animals.
Below are five best cat breeds to consider keeping for your living support needs.
Persian cats make the perfect pets for emotional support due to their highly affectionate nature. They are not only one of the most iconic feline breeds but are also calm and quiet, which makes them easy to keep. Since Persian cats do not engage in strenuous or lots of activity and would rather be pampered; instead, they can thrive even in small living spaces. You can quickly identify a Persian cat by its distinctive face with a squashed look, and a fluffy body made up of a long, flowy coat.
Persian cats require regular grooming to avoid mats and tangles and keep them clean. Despite the high maintenance, a Persian cat’s personality makes keeping it around worthwhile.
2. Russian Blue
The perfect emotional support cat for an introverted person is the Russian blue cat. This breed is characterized by short, dark-grey fur, which sometimes appears blue. Russian blue cats are quiet, shy, and intelligent pets that can also be quite playful. While they can be affectionate to family members, they also like to attach themselves to one person and do not enjoy doing anything outside their comfort zones. Russian blue cats are therefore ideal for people who require an emotional support animal that is nice, less social, and offers a great company. Note that Russian blue cats love routines and do not like large crowds and unknown visitors.
3. Maine Coon
Maine coon cats are the largest domestic cats compared to other domestic cats. They are almost comparable to dogs and are quite furry if you love cuddling fluffy animals. For people who suffer from social anxiety, Maine coon cats are great companions. This is because they enjoy socializing and quickly bond with outsiders which can help push you to interact with others. They are also affectionate to other pets as well as children. However, their copious amounts of fur also mean they require almost daily grooming.
If you are looking for an emotional support animal that you can engage in social activities with, the Siamese cat is the right choice. Siamese cats are playful, social, and attention-loving felines with slender bodies. Their playful nature means they can derive joy in games and toys around them. Since Siamese cats are social animals, they get distraught when left alone for long periods of time. For this reason, it is advisable to keep a pair of Siamese cats so they can keep each other company if you plan to leave them for a long period of time.
5. Mixed Breed
Given the wide variety of cat breeds, choosing the cat you want to keep can be difficult. This is especially true if you love specific traits from different breeds. Mixed breed cats give you the advantage of picking cat with a combination of the unique characteristics that you love from different breeds. Note that they are affectionate and cuddly animals just like pure breed cats, and they are capable of providing the emotional support that you need.
With the above breeds, you’ll get adequate emotional support and the company that you want.
Do not forget to get an ESA letter for your emotional support cat. You can always reach out to a licensed professional at Ezcare Clinic for an Emotional Support Animal Letter. You can also apply for an ESA letter by using this online ESA letter application.
Emotional support animals follow their owners to areas that are off-limits to other pets. This is because they’re recommended as a treatment for mental afflictions like anxiety, depression, even PTSD. Not to be mistaken for service animals. The main distinction is its functions.
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While ESAs are companions, service animals help their disabled handlers with duties such as answering the door, carrying medicine, and guiding their movement. ESAs don’t need extra conditioning like their service counterparts whose training ranges from heeling, proofing, and performing specific tasks. Another difference is their certification. Your disability should match the ADA description for your service animal to be recognized. Conversely, an ESA letter is provided by your therapist.
How ESAs Improve Your Travel Experience
By lifting your mood, support animals eliminate the need for anxiety medication on your journey. Pills may be effective, but you’ll still have side effects like fatigue and nausea. Furthermore, they act as distractions during long trips. Instead of worrying, your mind is occupied by the animal.
The fact that you have another creature to care for besides yourself gives you purpose. They thought of bonding with your pet may make an otherwise reserved person crave for adventure. ESAs also spark conversations between strangers. This is especially true for moments packed with tension like turbulence.
Travel Necessities for Your ESA
Traveling with their handlers gives ESAs an edge over ordinary pets. If you think moving with an animal is stressful, try it with a mental condition. Here are some trip essentials regardless of your mode of transport.
Things to pack while travelling
5 Things to Pack While Travelling
1. ESA Letter
An ESA letter is mandatory for any support animal in a plane cabin. For the document to be valid, however, it must fulfill the following specifications.
The letter is on your issuing therapist’s letterhead.
You’re currently under a licensed professional’s care.
The letter contains the license date, type, and issuing state.
Your illness is found in the DSM.
You need the ESA for the trip or destination.
The document requires an annual update.
Ensure you alert the airline beforehand. Initially, you could show up with your pet without an announcement. The rules have since changed with most carriers requiring a 48-hour notice. Again, check your destination’s guidelines regarding support animals. Not all countries allow ESAs from foreign lands.
2. Travel Crate
Apart from transportation, a travel crate protects your furry companion from harsh conditions like snow and rain. You’ll have to train your ESA if they’ve never experienced a carrier. In the initial stages, don’t lock the crate with the animal inside. The idea is viewing it as a safe space instead of a punishment. Likewise, put the case in the room your pet spends most of their time. Putting treats in the cage or feeding them next to it will keep your ESA interested.
You can add blankets and toys to give the container a homely feel when on the move. Similarly, secure the cage to the seat or hold it to prevent the ESA from shifting. While at it, ensure your support creature gets sufficient air to prevent suffocation. You can do this by ditching the layovers during summer and getting a container with better ventilation. Although they come in different sizes, some animals are too big for a carrier. That’s where leashes come in.
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The crowds in airports and train stations are bound to stress your ESA. That’s why you need a leash to guide their movement and protect other travelers together with their belongings and animals from attack. But your pet isn’t the only cause of danger. For starters, your unrestrained dog might get run over if it wanders away in a bus station.
It could also contract diseases after sniffing another animal’s droppings. Chains also make it easier to locate you in case your ESA gets lost. Most leashes include a tag for writing your identification details. Moreover, the restraint also makes your pet harder to steal. From resale and breeding to ransoms and fighting rings, animal theft is motivated by several reasons. Most importantly, the law demands you leash your animal.
Games to play with dog
How to Keep Your Dog Entertained on a Road Trip?
Repay your animal’s emotional support by keeping them comfortable. Though the airline can organize a special seat on request, your pup will be more settled in familiar bedding. If your pet doesn’t have a bed already, prioritize the quality of materials when shopping. Substandard fabrics are not only uncomfortable but also less durable.
The size is also crucial. While a small bed will tire your ESA, a larger one is difficult to move. Even so, some models have straps and clips for portability. Surfaces that absorb moisture will develop an odor from the animal’s urine. This calls for a mild water-repelling spray.
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At EZCare Clinic, we recognize the role of ESAs in your psychological wellbeing. We specialize in numerous areas, for example, addiction treatment, nutrition, cosmetic services, pain management, mental, and sexual health. You deserve to live free, reach us for an appointment today.