It’s said that there are many medically-proven ways to deal with anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. For some people, medication and therapy just don’t work. These people may find relief with an emotional support animal (ESA). Getting an emotional support dog is a big decision and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. To help you out, here are important points you should note before getting an emotional support dog. Keep on reading to learn more.
- You’re Responsible For Your Dog’s Health
While an emotional support animal doesn’t have to be specifically trained, you’re still responsible for its health and wellbeing. This means you need to meet pet upkeep requirements like regular vet check-ups, a healthy diet, exercise, and plenty of positive reinforcement training.
Hence, you should only get an emotional support dog if you’re prepared to take on this responsibility. For instance, if you’re not sure what kind of food your furry pal should be eating, you can find all the information right here. Depending on your dog’s breed, the food you’ll need to buy will be different.
- You Might Need A Letter From A Mental Health Professional
To qualify for an emotional support dog, you’ll need a letter from a mental health professional. This letter must state that you have a mental or emotional disability and that your animal provides support that alleviates at least one symptom of your disability.
If you don’t have a mental health professional, there are many online services that can connect you with one. Be sure to research before choosing a service, as not all of them are legitimate.
- You’re Responsible For Your Dog’s Behavior
There are certain do’s and don’ts to follow when it comes to owning any pet. But with an emotional support animal, it’s essential to be extra mindful of your dog’s behavior. Remember, you represent all emotional support animals when you’re out in public with your dog. So, it’s essential to make sure your dog is well-behaved and won’t bark or lunge at other people or animals.
- You’ll Need To Be Patient
If you’ve never owned a pet before, getting an emotional support dog might not be ideal. Dogs require a lot of time, energy, and patience - something that may be difficult for you to give if you’re not used to it.
Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. But in general, it’s best to wait until you’re ready for the responsibility of owning a pet before getting an emotional support animal.
- You Might Have To Make Some Adjustments
If you already have a pet, there’s a chance you might have to make some adjustments when you get an emotional support animal. This is because most dogs will need to be the alpha dog in the household, which could cause problems with your other pet.
If you’re not in a position to make some adjustments, then getting an emotional support animal might not be suitable for you.
- You Should Do Your Research Before Getting An Emotional Support Animal
Getting an emotional support dog is a big decision that you shouldn’t make lightly. Be sure to do your research and talk to your mental health professional before deciding to get an emotional support animal.
By doing so, you can get an animal that’s right for you and that you’re ready for the responsibility of owning a pet.
- Know The Different Breeds
Many different dog breeds make great emotional support animals. But some breeds are more suited for the job than others. Some of the best lineage for emotional support animals include Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. These breeds are known for being calm, gentle, and loving – perfect qualities for an emotional support animal.
- Exercise Caution When Choosing A Dog Breeder
If you’re looking to get an emotional support animal, it’s essential to exercise caution when choosing a dog breeder. There are a lot of scammers, so you’ll want to be sure you’re working with a reputable company.
An excellent way to achieve this is to research the company online and see what other people say about them. It would be perfect to make sure that the Better Business Bureau accredits the company.
- You Shouldn’t Get An Emotional Support Animal Just For The Perks
There are a lot of benefits that come with having an emotional support animal. But that doesn’t mean that you go ahead and get one just for the perks.
Some of these benefits include living in no-pets-allowed housing, flying with your furry companion for free, and not having to pay pet fees.
But again, you shouldn’t get an emotional support animal for these reasons. You should only get it if you genuinely need the help and support it provides.
So, there you have it - everything you need to know about getting an emotional support animal. Be sure to think wisely before making this decision, as it’s not one to be taken lightly. And most importantly, enjoy your new furry friend!