Emotional support animals can be the anchor for your mental and emotional health. These furry animals are more than just another family member. They are the constant support that can help people suffering from mental health conditions like PTSD, anxiety and depression, get better just by their presence.
If you’ve been struggling for a long time to keep your mental or emotional state stable, getting an ESA letter from a doctor near you might be exactly what you need.
Now, having an emotional support animal is a give-and-take process. You have to care for your pet in order for them to care for you. And for a happy dog or cat, you have to take into account certain considerations before and after getting an ESA. So, if you are convinced about getting an ESA, here are some things that you might need to focus on first.
Before Getting An ESA
Decide on the Breed
When getting an emotional support animal, people often disregard the importance of choosing a breed first.
Not every dog or cat breed can be ideal to be an ESA. Besides, there are other considerations too that need to be included before deciding on a breed.
First, look at your surroundings. Ensure the size of your home is ideal for your pet and that the surroundings are safe for them. For instance, having a Siberian Husky in a hot area is not the best decision if you are not aware of the best way to keep them cool.
Second, decide how much time you can spare for your ESA. There are breeds that will stay on your lap all day without any hesitation while there are others that require physical exercise and regular mental stimulation. You need to make sure that you find a breed accordingly.
Lastly, reflect on your financial standing. Dogs and cats are no less than a baby. You need to care for them and get regular checkups to maintain their health. Give them proper food and grooming sessions among other things. All of these things can increase your yearly expenses by a lot. So, make up your mind based on these points.
Prepare Your House
Like I said in the previous point, dogs and cats are like newborn babies. They are curious and unaware of what’s good and bad. So, constant supervision is necessary. One way to do that is by preparing your home for your ESA. In the case of ESAs, there are many things in your home that can be potentially hazardous for them.
Do not leave any medications or small objects that your ESA might swallow lying around. If you are fond of keeping plants in your home, make sure that they are not the poisonous kind. Get rid of any loose wires or electrical appliances that can risk the safety of your pet.
Stock on Pet Essentials
While preparing your home, do not forget to stock up on all the essentials that you might need for your ESA. This includes food and water bowls, leash, ESA vests, collars, etc. And if you’re having a pup or kitten, a dog crate and lots of dog pee pads or cat litter pads will help you have a better time caring for them.
And since we are in the middle of the pandemic, do not forget to shop for your ESA too. Keep their food and medications stocked.
After Getting an ESA
Once you have your ESA letter from a doctor, you can finally get your dog or cat at home. Now’s the time to get started with all the important things you must consider after getting your ESA home.
Find a Veterinarian
First and foremost, find a veterinarian near you. You can research about your pet as much as you want but there are certain things that only a professional is best acquainted with.
Additionally, pets will often not show any symptoms or present changes in behavior to indicate a health problem. This is why it is crucial to always keep an eye on your ESA and get them checked regularly.
So, make sure to find a vet your pet is comfortable with. He or she will also give you a proper schedule of all vaccinations and a list of measures to keep your ESA healthy and happy.
Start Basic Training
Now, one thing about emotional support animals is that you are not required to have them trained as a service animals. Your ESAs job is to provide you emotional support and that does not require any special training.
However, considering the fact that you have to share a living space with your ESA, whether an apartment or a house, having them trained for basic commands can be advantageous to you.
Additionally, though landlords cannot deny an ESA letter, if your pet causes financial damage or risks the safety of the neighbors, the landlord can disregard your ESA. So, make sure to train your pet to obey basic commands.
Pet Health Insurance
Your ESAs health is just as important as yours. This is why you must get pet health insurance for your furry friend.
Treatment for pets can be expensive. So, when your ESA needs special medical treatment to be healthy, you must not end up in a dilemma of whether to get it or not because of your financial reasons. With pet health insurance, such concerns will no longer trouble you.
So, note down these points properly if you wish to have a healthy and happy ESA.