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Emotional Support Animal

Top Questions To Answer Before Getting An Emotional Support Animal

Emotional Support Animals, also known as ESAs, have slowly grown to become a significant part of human life. Several people suffer from various emotional issues, and the increasing need for emotional support has made ESAs a choice for comfort and general well-being. Emotional Support Animals are trained to ease more issues like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. In general, Emotional Support Animals are there to make people feel much better.

Animals have grown beyond being just a pet and a companion to humans; they can also provide emotional support to those with mental concerns. We have known animals as just a pet, but ESAs are different from regular pets. People have had misconceptions about what Emotional Support Animals are and have questions guiding their ownership, but this article will answer questions that seem to float your mind. 

What Is The Difference Between ESAs and Service Animals?

The primary difference between service animals and Emotional Support Animals is the training. Unlike Emotional Support Animals, service animals are trained to perform some specific tasks. Although they could go around with their owners like Emotional Support Animals, there is still a difference between the pair. Some Emotional Support Animals can be turned down from entering public places because of their lack of training. 

Service animals are defined as animals specifically trained to do some tasks to ease people’s disabilities. Emotional Support Animals do not qualify and should not be regarded as service dogs because they only majorly provide emotional support and comfort to their handlers. Some service animals are trained to alert persons with impaired hearing or vision. Some can also help ease the pressure on some suffering from panic attacks or PSTD.

Cuddling or attention does not qualify to call an animal a service dog; their tasks are more particular to ease specific disabilities. Emotional Support Animals, as cute and lovely as they may seem, may not be the best for those other specific disabilities or impairments. 

Some service animals are also called psychiatric service dogs; these are even more particular about the services rendered to their handlers. Psychiatric service dogs are trained to help people with more serious mental disabilities that are beyond the comfort offered by Emotional Support Animals. Psychiatric service dogs are trained to detect psychiatric episodes in their handlers and ease those distresses. These may sound similar to the functions of Emotional Support Animals, but as stated before, the difference is in the specific training. 

The presence of Emotional Support Animals is all that is needed, but service animals do more than give their presence. Their training is required to ease the disabilities of their handlers. These disabilities are more than just mental; they could be physical or intellectual. Service animals can guide their handlers along the street, helping them retrieve lost items, alerting them about sounds, or pressing elevator buttons. They could also help remind their handlers about their medications. 

How Do I Know If I Am Eligible For An Emotional Support Animal?

Owning an emotional support animal is just something that can be done randomly or by impulse. Due to how controversial the issues of ESAs have been in recent times, you may need to be sure of your eligibility before getting one.

It has been understood that Emotional Support Animals help to ease specific mental health concerns like anxiety and depression. If you think owning an emotional support animal would help alleviate your mental health conditions, you should talk to your therapist about the possible benefits you could get. Talking about it with your therapist can help you see the overview and probably understand what you hope to get from owning an emotional support animal. Your therapist would also help ascertain the best animal to suit your moving needs. 

Owning and caring for an animal requires investing time and effort. You should seek to talk to your therapist, who will be in the best position to ascertain if you need an emotional support animal. 

You should note that getting your pet to be viewed as an emotional support animal with no credible reasons from dubious sites to avoid paying extra flight fees ultimately hurts the genuineness of those who need these support animals. 

Does My Animal Need A Specific Training To Become An ESA?

We have established the fundamental difference between an emotional support animal and a service animal, which is training. Your expressive support animal needs activity to be termed an ESA. 

Your need and ease enjoyed by your emotional support animal are all you need; as long the animal is well-behaved, there is no problem. 

What Animals Can Be An ESA?

People often wonder what types of animals they can acquire as emotional support animals. Some common animals are popular among handlers and emotional support animals. 

Dogs have been called men’s best friends, and, unsurprisingly, they are topping the chart as emotional support animals. They are the most common types of ESAs. Dogs are naturally sensitive to human emotional needs, so they are very well accepted as ESAs. 

Another common animal you could get as an emotional support animal is a cat. They are the next passionate furry human friends after dogs. Known for their cuddles, cats are another animal you could get as an emotional support animal. 

Can I Fly With My ESA?

Pets are not mostly allowed on flights, but emotional support animals are allowed on flights with their handlers. This, however, doesn’t happen without the submission of ESA letters from verified sites. You may want to contact your airline to inform them beforehand that you would fly with an emotional support animal and submit the ESA letter as proof. Your airline will verify your letter and offer reasonable accommodations for your emotional support animal. 


While various research by experts is yet to prove the possibility of long-term effects of ESAs, their help in alleviating some mental health symptoms cannot be undermined. 

Whether you are dealing with anxiety, depression, PTSD, or stress, emotional support animals can provide the emotional support and companionship you may need at those times. This will be determined, however, by your therapist. 

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