In the modern era, mental illness is a growing issue that is only just becoming understood. With so many different types of mental illness, it can be difficult to understand the best ways to manage and treat them.
Many people are unable to deal with their mental health issues because they don’t feel like they can ask others for help.
Thankfully this is starting to change, and there are many different treatments and strategies used to manage these issues.
One of these is the idea of Emotional Support Animals – pets that saare specifically used to support those with a variety of different issues.
So let’s say you’re considering getting one – what are the steps you need to take in order to get the support you need?
In this guide, we’re going to be taking you through how to adopt an emotional support animal.
We’ll take you through this in a few steps, and also give you some additional information about things you’ll need to keep in mind when going through this process.
Let’s find the right pet for you!
What Is An Emotional Support Dog?
Dogs have been used as faithful companions for most of human history.
Whilst in the past they were often selected for the value they could bring in terms of work, these days we tend to enter mutual contracts with dogs – you give the pet a good life, and in turn, they become your companion and friend.
An emotional support dog is usually one of several breeds that will offer comfort and support to somebody suffering from mental health issues.
In recent years dogs and other pets have been linked to great improvements in mental health, providing they are the correct fit for the person in question.
There are big differences between an emotional support dog and a service dog. Service dogs are typically dogs who have been trained to support a human with a specific physical disability.
The most common example of this would be a guide dog for the blind. These dogs undergo intense training so that they can best serve their owner.
Emotional support dogs on the other hand are dogs that are the right breed to give emotional support. There are lots of different types of these dogs, and often the breed selected is going to be the right one for your lifestyle.
How To Adopt An Emotional Support Dog In 4 Steps
Whilst getting an emotional support dog is a more simplified process than it once was, there are still some official steps you’ll need to take.
This will give you the paperwork and classification needed to bring your dog along to places they might not otherwise be allowed so that you can have the support you need when you need it.
Step 1 – Screening
A support dog is usually recommended by a healthcare professional. Typically, after a few sessions with a licensed therapist, they might see fit that you get an emotional support animal to help you with your mental health issue.
You can also raise this to them, especially if you’re the kind of person who finds
Step 2 – ESA Letter
In order to have an official emotional support animal, you’ll need to get an ESA letter from Certapet. They usually offer three main kinds of letters that will help you manage your pet, especially when it comes to housing or travel.
These are – ESA for housing, for travel, or a combination of both.
These letters will give you a legal right to have a pet for your needs no matter where you live.
How well this goes can depend on your landlord, or where you are traveling, but generally, you will have legal entitlement depending on the circumstances.
Step 3 – Adopting An Animal
This is the fun part, but it can also be quite nerve-wracking to pick the right pet for you. It’s very important to get a dog that is the right kind of breed to help you emotionally and financially.
Dogs are great companions that can offer you a lot of comforts, but certain breeds are much more demanding than others and you’ll need to make sure you find one that you can manage and train well.
Adopting a pet is a great way to combat cruelty to animals, and also to find a dog that you can support as much as they will support you. Some of the most common breeds people choose for emotional support animals are:
- Labrador Retrievers
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Golden Retriever
These breeds all vary in size and needs, so it’s important to consider all aspects before committing to one. However, Emotional Support breeds tend to be those with mild and affectionate temperaments.
Step 4 – Training
This is one of the most important steps. There won’t be any special training required for your new pet in the same way a service animal will need it, but you still need to make sure they have basic behavioral training.
This is so that they are safe and easy to be around. The last thing you’ll want is to have a lot of additional issues with your pet, as this could add to your mental health issues.
Proper preparation and research into the breed you’ve selected is the best way to ensure you train your pet well!
Getting an emotional support animal is a slightly longer process than getting a regular dog, but it can be a great addition to your life and comfort when you need it most.
You have to remember that adopting any animal is a two-way deal and that you will have to make their life great in exchange for the support they give you.
We hope that this article has told you everything you’ll need to know about the general process of adopting a support dog and that you now feel a lot more confident about the whole thing (You might also want to check out How To Adopt A Retired Police Dog).
We wish you the best of luck with whatever mental health issue you’re dealing with, and hope that you find the perfect new companion!