Considering an Emotional Support Animal?

Do you ever feel like your pet is a part of your family? Do you find yourself experiencing some sort of comfort when your pet is nearby? It is safe to say that pets are always going to be a part of the family. Whether it’s a dog, cat, rabbit or parrot, anything goes with these furry little beings. Furthermore, studies have shown that animals can help alleviate some symptoms experienced by individuals who struggle with certain mental health disorders.    

What is an ESA?   

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is any animal companion or buddy that provides some sort of emotional support to a person struggling with mental health disorders. These struggles may include anxiety, panic disorders, depression, PTSD, fears and phobias or on some level, low energy levels and feelings of loneliness. For example, you may find yourself experiencing some positive emotions from just taking your dog out for a walk on a beautiful sunny day, or even watching your energetic cat chasing a laser around the house. These simple interactions can help boost your serotonin levels more as well as ease your anxiety.   

Things to keep in mind before considering an ESA   

Some people often tend to mistake Emotional Support Animals with Service Animals (SA). Although they may seem and sound similar, they are not the same thing. While an ESA provides emotional support and companionship, SAs also perform certain tasks to help the individual struggling with different disabilities. Such tasks for instance, may include a guide dog for people who are visually impaired, therefore a service animal is not limited to a specific disability and or disorder. ESAs do not have the same accommodations in public locations as SAs do. Finally, SAs require extensive training and special certifications, while an ESA letter can be prescribed through a licensed Mental Health Care Provider.   

How can my pet become an ESA?   

Here at Affiliated Medical Group, we always come across patients who have adorable furry babies of their own who also provide some sort of emotional support for them. As mentioned previously, an ESA letter can be obtained by a Licensed Mental Health Care Provider. If you are an established patient with AMG and are interested in registering your pet as an ESA, ask your provider at your future visits to see if an ESA is right for you. We are more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have with this process.  

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