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An Animal Companion

May 12, 2020

An emotional support animal can be nothing short of a lifesaver for many people struggling with mental health problems. Much like a guide dog, emotional support animals will help you through stressful and anxiety-inducing situations you would otherwise find very difficult to handle on your own. On top of this, they provide companionship through tough times and are always there to hand out support without feeling judged, the best bit about an animal is that they will always love you for who you are, whether you’re going through a really hard time or you’re on top of the world.

When it comes to emotional support animals we aren’t talking about any normal pet, neither are we talking about service or therapy animals. ESA’s have certain legal rights that are specific to their role, but to be able to have legal allowances they need to be registered as an emotional support animal, only then can you enjoy the true benefits of having one. The number of people suffering from mental illness of any kind is rising rapidly which is why any help and support we can get the better, having an emotional support animal could benefit you in huge ways if you are suffering from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, any phobias, and panic attacks. It’s been found that having a companion has given huge relief when other methods haven’t worked. To qualify you will need to determine what disability you have that requires you to have an ESA, this is done by your therapist or a medical healthcare professional and they will decide if having an ESA will help you.  There is a difference between an emotional support animal and a service dog, mainly it’s the legal allowances so it’s best to understand that if you’re going to have one. The main difference being an ESA will provide only emotional support for its owner, whereas a service animal will carry out tasks for them and make life physically as well as mentally easier. There’s a difference in legal allowances between the two as well, whilst a service dog will be able to go pretty much wherever it’s owner goes, an ESA will have limited rights. Any animal can be an emotional support animal, but you have to be realistic when using public transport or flying, people aren’t going to be too happy sitting next to a tarantula on a plane for 5 hours. It’s best to have an ESA that’s widely socially accepted. If you’re thinking of getting an ESA then do some research first to find out what’s best for you, if you choose something like a dog then take time to look into all the breeds and see which suits you best. If you’re struggling with anything and feel like an ESA will help improve your life then don’t wait any longer, take the first step.

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