If you are looking into getting an emotional support animal, you may be wondering if they actually make a difference in the lives of their owners. Can a small, furry face really make that much of a difference in your day-to-day life? The answer is yes, emotional support animals can make a huge difference. Let’s dive into how and why.
What Is an Emotional Support Animal?
Emotional support animals are animals of almost any kind which provide companionship and comfort which can help ease mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
How Do Emotional Support Animals Help?
Emotional support animals can provide companionship to someone struggling with loneliness, provide love and affection to someone doubting their self-worth, bring laughter to someone drowning in depression, and provide comfort to someone fighting anxiety.
Other benefits include:
1. Reduced stress
Petting an animal has been proven to lower blood pressure and cortisol levels, reducing a person’s anxiety and stress.
2. Stronger sense of identity
They have also been found to contribute to a stronger sense of identity.
3. Routine and security
An emotional support animal provides a sense of security and can provide a regular routine for a struggling individual as it must be fed, watered, and walked.
4. Reduced risk of heart disease
According to the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), people without cats have a 40% higher relative risk of heart attack than non‑cat owners.
5. Physical exercise
Dogs need to be walked regularly and played with, which means their owners get more healthy physical activity as well.
6. Reduced chronic pain
Pets have been shown to ease chronic pain in struggling individuals.
7. More social connectedness
Pets promote more social interaction and provide for an easy conversation starter and help bring people together.
Where Are You Allowed to Take an Emotional Support Animal?
Emotional support animals are protected by the Fair Housing Act. This means you can live them for free regardless of no pet policies or pet fees. No landlord can decline you because of your animal. However, emotional support animals are not the same as service animals and cannot be taken out in public with you. Laws have also now changed, and you can no longer fly with your emotional support animal. Some locations and airports are exceptions to this rule, so call ahead to find out for sure.
How Do You Qualify for An Emotional Support Animal?
In order to have an emotional support animal, you must an emotional support animal letter of certification. This letter must be written by a medical professional or licensed therapist. Additionally, this letter must be renewed on a yearly basis.
As discussed, the benefits of having an emotional support animal are many. They are hugely beneficial for both your mental and physical health and can provide the love and companionship your life is missing. To get an emotional support animal letter of certification easily and affordably, visit United Support Animal and talk to one of our experts today.