According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people suffer from depression globally. This increased depression is resulting in various mental and physical disabilities. To help the situation doctors and psychiatrists are working to help these individuals.
Besides the traditional treatment, people are now moving to a rather quint method of dealing with their physical, emotional, and mental instability. They have started having emotional support and service animals for their assistance. But both of these animals are different and have different purposes.
Read on to know more.
The animals that provide you with companionship to support your mental or emotional well-being are known as emotional support animals.
In similar words, an emotional support animal is an animal that offers some kind of emotional or mental benefits to the individual with a disability. The disability can be mental or emotional. However, for physical disability, the person will need a service animal.
Emotional support animals are not usually trained for specific tasks. Any animal that provides comfort, support, positive vibes, affection, and companionship can qualify to be an emotional support animal.
A service animal is an assistance animal that guides and assists people with physical limitations. Some of the common physical disabilities in which a service animal is useful are blindness, hearing disabilities, inability to move on your own, epilepsy, and many others.
Unlike emotional support animals, only a dog or a miniature horse could be a service animal and they will need proper and the required training to work as a service animal. They may also be pricier than an ESA as their training will cost anywhere between $150 to $200 per hour.
Emotional and service animals are often confused about having some similarities. But if widely observed, emotional support animals and service animals have some distinct and obvious differences.
ESAs are often generalized and interchanged by the service animals. Broadly, service animals are nothing like ESA’s. Service animals are specifically trained to perform different tasks for their owners. While an ESA just provides emotional support as a companion and friend without actually any physical help for the patient.
Patients and owners of service animals largely depend on their animals as they perform physical tasks for them. Because of this, the service animals are provided with legal protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In contrast to this, the emotional support animals do not enjoy such protection by the law. Though they are protected under the Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act, there are many places that do not allow ESAs into their premises, restaurants, and other public places added.
In case of a service animal, you can take it anywhere with you. Either a public place or an office, a service dog can not be denied entrance.
As the services of the two animals differ, the certification also has some differences. Usually, the service animal does not need any official letter as the physical disability is visible and the people could see that a dog or the miniature horse is a service animal.
In case of an ESA, you will need to get a genuine and real ESA letter that must be written by a mental health professional like a therapist, psychiatrist, or mental health consultant.
In a nutshell, emotional support dogs are intended to just provide companionship to people. And the service dog is trained to assist and help people with disabilities.
Many people get confused between psychiatrist dogs and emotional support dogs since both of them are used for a somewhat similar purpose. However, a psychiatric dog will need proper training to identify any panic signs and get help and assist the conflicted person. An emotional support animal, on the other hand, does not need any proper training.
The only job of these animals is that they provide emotional and mental support and help to their owners. They are not protected under the ADA law and do not enjoy full-fledged rights like a service dog or animal.
Other than emotional support animals and service dogs, there are other kinds of animals that are different from them. Therapy dogs work in hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers and spend some time with them. These dogs do not need to be trained but they just need to be disciplined, comfortable around strangers, and good at socializing with other people.
Usually, the dog owners are with them to control them and therapy dogs have fewer rights than both service and emotional support dogs.
Experts have always supported the idea of animals helping and supporting people with mental and physical health issues.
Research shows that having a pet can cause positive mental effects. The reason is the emotional connectivity between the patient and the animal.
Emotional support animals can be beneficial in many ways:
Getting an emotional support animal for oneself is a healthier step that one takes towards his mental health. Your ESA gives you peace and unconditional love and makes your life normal again.
Any animal can be your emotional support. There are different types of animals that you can keep as an ESA. Cats, dogs, peacocks, miniature horses, a fish, or even a goat, there are no limitations for the kind and size of the animal.
Usually, for emotional support as well as for service purposes, people like to keep dogs. If you are a cat person, you can keep a cat as your emotional support animal. However, a cat cannot be your service animal.
Some of the key benefits of service animals are:
Unlike ESAs, you cannot have just any animal as a service animal. Since a service animal assists its owner in moving around, a small and fragile animal like a cat, rabbit, or hamster is not suitable for the role.
For a service animal, only dogs and miniature horses are considered fit for the role. Therefore, only dogs and miniature horses are allowed as service animals.
Unlike service animals who are individually trained to perform tasks, the ESAs do not require extensive training. They just have to provide comfort and affection to the individual.
ESA dog requirements can be as follows:
Let’s bust your bubble! There is absolutely no such thing as emotional support animal registration. Surprised? There are a trillion online websites claiming to provide you the registration for your ESA in exchange for money.
Well, they are there to basically rob you. Anyone claiming to provide you your pet’s registration as an ESA is nothing but a scam. Don't fall into this trap.
We provide authentic and legal certification of your emotional support cat or dog. So that you and your pet can enjoy all the rights.
To get an ESA you just need a letter by the mental health professional. The letter will include the following information about you and your ESA:
Fill in the information asked and a legal certificate will be issued to you. It is important to know that to enjoy all rights everywhere you should keep this certificate with you all the time.
Unlike an ESA for which you need a real ESA letter, a service animal does not need any official document. Physical disability like being in a wheelchair or being blind or deaf is visible and the people could determine it themselves that your dog or miniature horse is a service animal.
However, you will need to keep your animal’s medical records updated, in case you need to show them to your landlord or in the airline.
Animals make our lives much better and both emotional support animals and service animals are proof of it. Both of these animals assist and help people and better their lives in a number of ways.