How an Emotional Support Pet Can Benefit Your Life

There are many ways that pets are beneficial to your life. They give you companionship, responsibility, and if you are suffering from a mental illness such as anxiety, depression, or OCD, a sense of calm and belonging. Unlike other types of service animals, emotional support pets do not need to undergo extensive training, they simply need an ESA evaluation for their health and overall demeanor, and once you get a written recommendation from your therapist or doctor, your own pet can be certified as an emotional support animal. This can allow you to take your pet with you to places where they may formerly be turned away, such as airports, restaurants, and other public places.

If you are thinking about turning a pet you love into an emotional support animal, talk to your therapist and explore some of the benefits that may come your way in making this change.

Greater freedom

If you don't like going in public due to your mental illness symptoms, having a support animal by your side can give you a greater sense of freedom. Pets naturally lower your heart rate and can reduce symptoms of anxiety, fight or flight response, and other problems that can often keep you from wanting to go to the store, the movies, or even the park. With your emotional support pet by your side, you can feel more confident, overcome obstacles with greater ease, and interact socially.

Mental health improvement

Your therapist may recommend an emotional support pet to help you with your condition in addition to taking medication to balance out the way your mind works. Since a certification allows you to take your pet with your nearly anywhere, you can enjoy mental health improvement with time as you learn to encounter new situations and activities with your symptoms being monitored. When you begin to feel fearful, confused, agitated, or overwhelmed, you can feel the constant support of your pet and know that you will be OK.

It's important to continue seeing your therapist or psychiatrist as you use your emotional support pet in public so they can evaluate your symptoms and make sure you are improving.

Any pet can be a service pet, from a cat to a pig. Before you attempt to get your pet approved for this kind of support, you may want to have them take an obedience training class and have their health evaluated to ensure they are a good fit for your needs. Talk to a therapist at facilities like Next Generation Psychology to see if this would be a helpful option.