You cannot deny the positive vibes you get from your support animal. Research has also shown how animals can help individuals dealing with stress and other mental issues.
You might think you can only keep a dog or a cat for an emotional support animal. This is not the case.
What is an Emotional Support Animal?
An emotional support animal can be a dog or cat or any other animal that can help ease the symptoms of emotional or mental disability. They provide help in day to day life by providing affection, love, and care.
Do not confuse the term emotional support animals with service animals or assistance animals. ESAs are not specifically trained while therapy animals or service animals, especially service dogs, are individually trained to perform specific tasks for people with disabilities.
The primary role of an ESA is to provide comfort and company.
Although dogs are the most common emotional support animals, cats are also very common nowadays. Other types of animals such as pig, duck, monkey, miniature horses, can also be an ESA.
Types of Emotional Support Animals
Wondering what type of animals are good for emotional support animal role? We have answered your question here.
Usually, cats and dogs are the most common ESAs but other animals can also qualify to be an emotional support animal.
The following is a list of acceptable types of emotional support animals:
Dog as an ESA
As mentioned above, emotional support dogs are the most common assistance animals. All types of dog breeds can provide help to those dealing with mental or emotional disabilities.
The connection between dogs and humans is the best thing to observe. Research says that dogs communicate and understand humans better than other animals. They are the most loyal animals. No wonder why people trust and tell their dogs everything.
Dogs are very excited and appreciative creatures. Besides giving you the needed support, they also show you how to appreciate life and other little things and moments.
Cat as an ESA
It is true that dogs are the most common ESAs. But cats also play an important part in the life of people with a disability. If you are a cat person, you would vouch for the fact that cats are very loving creatures.
While cats might have a grumpy attitude at times but just like dogs, they also love their humans unconditionally. It does not matter if you own a dog or cat; all pet owners understand how their companion animal can help them emotionally.
Cats are one of those animals that will not keep you up at night meowing. They are great for small houses and apartments and with an emotional support cat certification, you can live and travel with this furball of fun.
Rabbit as an ESA
What is more relaxing than having a small, fuzzy creature live with you?
Do you know what is the best thing about a rabbit as an emotional support animal? They are quiet, shy animals.
Since bunnies are extremely quiet, they are well suited for an apartment. Your neighbors will not be bothered by you for keeping an animal. Also, bunnies have a very loving nature that will help you bond with them.
Are you worried if your apartment would be small for your bunny? That's the best part of keeping a bunny. You don't have to worry about your apartment space for your rabbit. These small, adorable creatures occupy a very little place.
You can set up a litter box and food in specific places. You don’t have to take them for a walk like dogs. They also don’t need a backyard to roam around.
Bird as an ESA
Do you want an animal that you can interact with?
According to scientific research, birds are the only animals who are able to replicate human speech. Birds are really intelligent creatures. This is the best reason to get a bird as your emotional support animal.
Especially, parrots. If you teach your parrot how to speak, you will always have a communication partner with you. Your bird will be there for you to respond to you and talk to you using the words you taught it.
Another great reason to have birds is that you will not have to worry about their litter boxes or to take them for a walk every day. All you have to do is to clean their cage, but that’s convenient as compared to taking care of a cat or dog.
Hamster as an ESA
These tiny little balls of fur can prove to be a great companion for you. Hamsters have a very calm personality. Their soothing presence can really help a mentally disturbed person. They will just curl up on your lap to provide you mental relief.
The best part about keeping a hamster as an emotional support animal is that they are inexpensive, independent, and occupy very little space.
Keeping an emotional support animal should not break your bank. Feeding a hamster is also very easy and inexpensive. All you need is a big bag of hamster mix which contains all the necessary ingredients like grains, seeds, and proteins.
Buying pet houses for cats and dogs can cost you a little, especially if you are a student. Hamsters are the best in such a case. They occupy such a little space; they are easy to take care of and their small size makes them perfect for little children.
Horse as an ESA
Just like cats and dogs, horses are also kept as pets. Horses have a high trainability due to which it is easier to keep them in the backyard of your house. However, you will need a big space to keep a standard sized horse. In case you have less space, you can get a miniature horse as your ESA.
Besides being playful, another advantage of having a horse is that horses have a long time span as compared to other animals. So, you can have a long-lasting bond with your companion.
What Other Types can be Emotional Support Animals?
There is no rule defined as what type of animals can or cannot be an ESA. However, only a licensed mental health therapist can write a legitimate ESA letter for you.
Along with the letter, it is necessary that the animal must be beneficial for your mental health.
Almost all types of domesticated animals can be an emotional support animal including dogs, cats, rabbits, mice, birds, rats, ferrets, etc.
But it is important that the animal is easy to manage in public places and should not be harmful to others.
What Kind of Animals Could not be ESAs?
Any animal could be an emotional support animal and, unfortunately, many people take it as a leverage to keep weird and dangerous animals as their ESAs, like an emotional support snake or pygmy hippo that are not only dangerous but they are also not fit to live in a house. When choosing an ESA, make sure that you choose a domesticated animal that you can explain to your landlord and airline authorities.
Not all kinds of animals could be reasonable ESAs and this is what you should consider when choosing an animal to be your ESA.
How Many Emotional Support Animals Can You Have?
Can you have more than one emotional support animal? Are there any legal implications?
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) states that a person with a mental or emotional disability can have more than one emotional support animals. In fact, in some cases, a person may require multiple support animals for the treatment. Besides, in the United States, disabled people are eligible for equal opportunity.
However, the ADA does not acknowledge some situations where having multiple emotional support animals can be an issue.
It is quite obvious that an airline would not be able to provide sufficient space for three golden retrievers nor a small apartment would meet the needs of the owner and these support animal, right?
Keep in mind, if you are going to have multiple emotional support animals. You need to protect yourself by including multiple pets in your emotional support animal letter. It is also important to specifically state what type of emotional stability each animal provides.
Emotional Support Animal Laws
After a long hectic day at work or in school, when you go home, your ESA comforts you by relieving stress. But keeping an ESA restricts the owners from certain places as it is not easy to find an animal friendly place like a housing facility. That is why there are federal laws to protect the ESA owners from any sort of discrimination.
The laws include Air Carrier Access Act (ACCA) and Fair Housing Act (FHA).
It is important to note that if you are considering to obtain an ESA letter, you should be aware of the ESA laws that are applied to emotional support animal owners.
What is the Fair Housing Act?
The Fair Housing Act of 1988 clearly states that the housing communities and apartments with no pet policy must make exception for support animals. They must also provide reasonable accommodation for the assistance animals and their owners.
According to FHA:
- ESA owners are allowed to keep their emotional support animal even in apartments and buildings with no pet policy.
- ESA owners are exempted from pet fees or pet deposits.
Keep in mind the landlords may require proof in the form of documentation indicating the need of emotional support animal due to mental or emotional disability.
What is the Air Carrier Access Act?
The Air Carrier Access Act 1990 works alongside the rules of Transportation department to prohibit discrimination of disabled individual traveling by air.
According to ACCA:
- Airlines are not allowed to refuse or limit the individuals traveling with their support animals.
- Airlines will have to accomodate ESA owners if they have verified identification.
The ESA owners have the right to bring their animals to air travel with them without any additional charge. You just need to make sure that you have an ESA letter and additional forms (if required by specific airline).
Get an ESA Letter Online
Do I qualify for an emotional support animal? There are some conditions that are required for you to qualify for an ESA such as depression, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and panic attacks etc. If you have one of these, you can the letter immediately.
Get your ESA letter and take your support animal wherever you go. Here you can find out how you can obtain a legitimate ESA letter online.
The traditional approach is to make an appointment to a mental health professional. He/she will verify, if you qualify for an ESA or not. After verification, you can get an ESA letter.
No access to a medical health professional?
We, at RealESALetter have a better solution for you. We can provide you help with a legal emotional support animal letter.
Our brief questionnaire will take your few minutes and you will get results in a matter of 24 hours. We work 24/7 to help people get connected with our licensed mental health professional and get the treatment they are looking.
A letter from us provides:
- Recognition that you are a patient of a mental health professional.
- Verification that you are limited by any kind of emotional disability.
- Prescription for an ESA as a necessary reinforcement.
If you feel you need a companion animal for your emotional assistance, fill out the questionnaire and you will get a valid ESA letter if you qualify for it.