Choosing the Perfect Pet for Emotional Support: Things to Consider

Seeking an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)’s companionship and friendship can be liberating and therapeutic. However, choosing the right one to suit your specific needs could be challenging. Since the year 2016, the number of ESAs in the US shot up from 500,000 to over a million. Furthermore, deciding on particular character traits of the ESA you intend to choose is extremely important. If you’re in need of a perfect ESA pet, then this article throws light on important things you should consider beforehand.

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Are you looking for a young or fully matured pet? This is a crucial question you need to answer before getting an emotional support pet. The average life expectancy of household pets ranges from twelve to fifteen years. Furthermore, animals of varied ages require specific needs, which should be a factor when deciding. Ideally, younger pets are easier to handle and train, but they tend to be very energetic, noisy, and overly curious. As they are still young, you may have your work cut out for you. To ease the burden, particularly with regards to their waste disposal, consider using a professional service. For example, if you have puppies that are not yet fully potty trained, you could hire a dog pooper scooper service to handle your pup’s waste. If your objective is to enjoy a calm and peaceful life with an ESA, a young pet may not be ideal for you. An older or mature pet may be more suitable, but they are harder to train.

Two significant laws protect emotional support pets in the United States; the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Air Carriers Access Act (ACAA). FHA provides the freedom to live with an emotional support pet in a rented home or in places where pets, in general, are prohibited. That includes the retirement home, campus accommodation, and hotels. The ACAA allows the ESA and its owner to board commercial flights without problems. The law also applies to flights that strictly forbid the presence of animals during a trip. For both laws, it is of utmost importance that your emotional support pet is sufficiently trained to avoid pooping in public. 

Just as humans have individual character traits, so do pets. For example, a Labrador that works well with a teenager is not full proof that the same species will do well with another person. Animals exhibit a wide character variety in areas such as calmness and reaction to a strange item. For this reason, a skittish animal may not be ideal for an injured soldier looking for emotional support in a pet. It is necessary to consider the tolerance level of the animal you choose for emotional support. For example, if you already have a cat and are considering bringing in a dog as your emotional support, both should be able to live in harmony.

Naturally, some pets or breeds are more expensive to keep than others, and this should be considered when deciding on getting an ESA. For example, can your lifestyle accommodate monthly visits to the veterinary? Can you handle the bills that come with pet medications and care? In addition to these, some pets require regular grooming to improve their overall well-being. This will require a professional with years of experience in animal grooming, and they certainly do not come cheap. Suppose your ESA is a bird or a rabbit; keeping them healthy and active requires more money. These animals are easily prone to infections and over time, may begin to burn a hole in your wallet. Besides the initial financial value of your pet, you must consider other additional costs like pet food. 

Perhaps, this is the most critical consideration of all. After all, the purpose of an emotional support pet is indicated in its general description. You may be lucky to establish an instant bond with the pet you choose, whereas it takes time and effort for others. Indeed, without an ESA, the animal you choose may turn out to be an ordinary pet.

ESA’s make life bearable for their owners who need them to go through life. Each ESA provides comfort, companionship, and a bond that lasts for as long as they are with their owners. Therefore, before you decide on choosing one, remember the considerations listed here. 

This a collaborative post. 

Melinda

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