What is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?
An emotional support animal is an animal friend that offers some type of assistance to an individual with some form of disability or mental illness. The animal is supposed to provide company and support that will help ease at least one portion of the disability.
Dogs are the most common type of emotional support animal, but cats are equally common as well. Other types of animals, such as miniature horses, can also serve as Emotional Support Animals.
A peacock made headlines after it was forbidden from entering a United Airlines flight, even though its owner said that the animal was an emotional support animal. Some of the more unusual emotional support animals that have been seen with their owners include a pig, a duck, a monkey, and a turkey. Most ESAs are not rare and unusual.
Emotional support animals are different from service dogs in a few key ways. Service dogs have been taught to perform particular tasks for their owners, and they are usually allowed access to go anywhere their owner goes. Emotional support animals do not need any specific training, although owners should make sure they are well-trained to behave properly in public. ESAs are not allowed access to some places like restaurants or malls, unlike service animals.
Benefits you can get from an Emotional Support Animal
So, the question arises, what are the benefits that you can get from an Emotional Support Animal? One research review found that having a pet has positive effects on mental health by nurturing emotional connectivity and helping people manage in times of crisis.
Some other benefits are…
- Less anxiety. Simply having an emotional support animal can create a relaxation response and elevate mood.
- Trauma support. Pets can provide comfort to people who are dealing with difficult situations, to the people who have experienced any type of trauma.
- Improved physical health. Studies have found that emotional support animals help to lower blood pressure, decrease respiration rates, and improve the ability to cope with pain.
- Fewer feelings of loneliness. Emotional Support Animals can provide support, which is especially important for people who live alone and go through depression and anxiety.
- Reciprocal care and love. Caring for an emotional support animal can also help give people a sense of life. Not only do animals provide unconditional love and support, but they also demand care and love in return, which can be emotionally satisfying.
Laws for Emotional Support Animals
Under the Federal Fair Housing Act, housing providers are required to make reasonable accommodations to allow individuals with emotional illnesses to keep supporting animals in their homes. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires housing providers to make allowances to “no pets” policies.
The two conditions required for such an exemption:
- The individual living with the animal must have some type of disability that appreciably limits one or more important life tasks.
- The animal must provide some type of aid or support related to these recognized disabilities.
While research has yet to prove the long-standing effects of having an emotional support animal for easing the symptoms of mental disabilities. Whether you are dealing with stress, anxiety, trauma, or some other type of mental health condition, a pet can provide companionship and support. Talk to your doctor about whether an emotional support animal might be helpful for your situation.
ESACert.com helps you get an Emotional Support Animal Letter, register your pet as a certified emotional support animal, and never part with it. The certificate helps save air travel fees and pet deposits on a house rental.
If you are willing to have an Emotional Support Animal, then the best way out is to appoint a certified mental health professional from the platform of ESACert. These experts will analyze your condition and decide the intensity of your mental disability or any kind of disorder that you are going through. After a strong examination, they will do an emotional support dog registration and issue you an emotional support animal certification and letter which will act as a key to take your dog or any other animal on board.