It’s common to see people walking with their pets in public. The chances are that some of these pets are emotional support animals. What is the difference between a regular pet and an emotional support animal? ESAs are therapeutic animals that help you mitigate the symptoms of various mental health disorders.
The next time you spot someone with a rabbit, pig, or even a snake, there is a possibility that the animal provides some sense of well being to its owner. You can choose any type of animal as your ESA.
Why should you consider adopting an emotional support animal? ESAs bring many physical, mental, and social benefits. Here are the top five benefits of owning an emotional support animal.
1. Genuine Comfort and Support
Pets are an endless source of unconditional love. One of the chief merits of ESAs is that they provide a genuine sense of calm and comfort. This benefit is useful to persons suffering from anxiety, depression, and specific phobias.
Depression is a major concern in the United States. Over 15 million adults suffer from depression. If I were to put this number in context, 6.7% of the population are affected by depression.
Animals are intelligent beings. They respond to your emotions and energy levels. When you are down, your ESA will make attempts to approach you and cheer you up.
2. Good Company
Emotional support animals can provide the best company when you are feeling lonely. These animals can also help you make friends as they are excellent conversation starters. Let’s say you are walking your ESA dog down the street; a fellow dog lover may approach you to find more about your dog. From such conversations, you can make friends.
3. Natural Alternatives to Healing
Prescription medicines come with a boatload of side effects and an increased risk of addiction. An emotional support animal can be a natural alternative to healing. Instead of treating mental health disorders with pills, you can opt for an ESA.
Apart from avoiding the side effects of medication, adopting an ESA is a fun and therapeutic mode of treatment. Conventional medicine alternatives will end up increasing your blood pressure and overworking your kidneys. With an emotional support animal, you can lower your blood pressure and stress levels as you heal.
4. ESAs are an Endless Source of Inspiration
Emotional support animals can increase self-esteem and motivation. With your supportive pet, you can find a renewed sense of purpose. Remember, for your pet to work effectively, you need to meet it’s nutritional and health requirements.
Caring for a living thing can be quite therapeutic. Having this sense of responsibility will always keep your mind engaged. You shouldn’t have trouble finding positivity. Engaging your ESA will also boost your mood. Your brain will release more serotonin and endorphins, the happiness hormones.
5. The Legal Perks of ESAs
Living with an ESA can come with a few legal perks. If you are living with an ESA in your housing unit, you are exempt from any extra charges. The Fair Housing Act protects this right. Also, your landlord cannot deny admission based on owning a pet. Your pet is free to live with you.
In terms of travel, you are free to fly with your pet. All you need to do is to notify your airline 48 hours in advance. The Air Carrier Access Act protects this right.