Emotional Support Animals

If you’ve ever had a pet in your life, you’re very familiar with the incomparable bond that you had with your furry friend. There is significant research that backs the fact that as humans, there are physical and mental benefits of having a pet of any sort. According to CertaPet, there are approximately 81.5 million people in the United States who suffer from depression, anxiety or PTSD. Animals have the ability to support us in confronting our fears, handling anxious situations, and eliminating loneliness.

The more research you do about Emotional Support Animals, the greater the understanding of their capabilities. It is important to take into consideration that the animal is there to support you; so, when looking at a local shelter, find an animal which you feel an emotional bond with. What are emotional support animals? Emotional Support Animals can be any animal you’re feeling connected to (within reason, no exotic pets) and comforts you.

Dogs offer emotional support

Registering your Emotional Support Animal

Cuddly cat offers a high-five

While you are not legally required to officially register your animal, as you would if your animal were a service animal, there are benefits to having it officially certified. Benefits of officially registering your emotional support animal include traveling with your pet (in addition to a prescription letter from a licensed mental health professional), more accessibility in public, and accessible housing for your pet to live with you. Additionally, if you are traveling by air to visit a friend or family, your ESA is allowed to accompany you onto the plane and stay by your side. By registering your pet as an ESA, you can ensure your partner is going to be there for you every step of the way, no matter what.

Animals can change the way you experience life in various different ways and as the animal relies on you, you will then rely on them too. Having a pet creates a bond between owner and animal turning them into companions. When you’re responsible for the well-being of each other, an unbreakable trust is formed. When you find yourself in a new place, it can be hard to venture out to do the things you loved like going to the park and walking the neighborhood. With your trusty companion, there will be an added level of socialization to these activities. According to BMC Psychiatry, having an animal in your presence can reduce the feeling of isolation and allow you to have a physical companion when you’re feeling alone. When you’re strolling through the neighborhood, you will have a partner to help engage others in conversations allowing you to feel more confident. If you’re lacking that social interaction, being able to walk side by side with your companion and having others talk to the animal can help make you feel more confident in talking to the person.

When understanding your mental health, it is important to keep it at the top of your priority list. Life allows for situations that you cannot anticipate, causing anxiety and stress. If you’re dealing with those at a heightened level, an Emotional Support Animal could help you. Being in the presence of a furry friend, it is proven to positively impact your mood and reduce high anxiety levels. Whether someone is dealing with PTSD, anxiety or depression, having a furry friend in your life creates purpose. Apart from the mental health benefits, there are physical benefits having a pet can have on our bodies. After getting a pet, you could find that your blood pressure is lower, your heart rate could be lower, you might get sick less and you could have lower triglyceride levels. There is an innate fear that you’re being judged by those around you when confiding in them. With an ESA, you are able to confide in someone who is going to listen to you without judgment, someone that struggles with their feelings doesn’t always receive. (BMC) These are real, measurable benefits that you are going to be able to notice after deciding to get an emotional support animal.

An ESA could change the way you’re living your life. The bond between human and animal is one that will last a lifetime. Allowing yourself to have that support system in the moments of need could save your life. Animals have the biggest hearts once you let them in and form the trust. Opening yourself up to the responsibility of adopting an animal is opening yourself up to the opportunity to save their life and support yourself.