How to Get an Emotional Support Dog
Each year, 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience a mental illness. Finding the right solution for the mental health issues you are facing can be difficult. Dealing with depression and anxiety can make it hard to enjoy your life.
In recent years, mental health professionals have had success in treating depression, anxiety and a number of other conditions with the help of emotional support dogs. Are you curious about how to qualify to get an ESA companion? If so, read below for more information on this process.
Getting an ESA Letter
The first thing you have to do when attempting to get an emotional support animal is to get a letter of recommendation from a licensed doctor or therapist. This letter will need to provide evidence that you are indeed suffering from an emotional or mental health issue.
Your doctor will also need to outline how an emotional support animal can be used to treat your condition. With this letter, you will also be able to take your dog on flights and live in an apartment without having to pay additional pet fees.
What Your Doctor Needs to Issue an Emotional Support Dog Letter
If your anxiety or stress prohibits you from doing normal activities, there is a good chance you will be able to qualify for an emotional support animal. Certain experiences can cause an individual to have a decline in their mental and emotional stability. The most common mental disabilities that are treated with emotional support animals are:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Panic attacks
- Personality disorder
If you are unsure about whether or not you are struggling with these conditions, here are some symptoms you may notice if you are having mental health problems:
- Difficulty maintaining relationships
- Constantly feel anxious or depressed
- Irrational fears and paranoia
- Trouble interacting with others in a public setting
Seeking out the assistance of a professional in the mental health field will allow you to get diagnosed and treated for your ailments. If a mental health professionals feels like you could benefit from an emotional support animal, they will draft a letter and help you obtain one.
Does An Emotional Support Dog Need to Be Specially Trained?
One of the most common questions most people have regarding emotional support dogs is whether or not they need to be specially trained. The short answer to this question is no. The dogs that provide emotional support for their owners don’t even realize the important work they are doing.
By nature, dogs are loving and supportive animals. The loyalty and support an animal naturally gives is usually enough to help a person avoid a panic attack or other mental health episodes. If you already have a dog, you can probably register them as your emotional support animal.
Registering your existing dog as your emotional support animal will allow them to go more places and do more things with you. Your pet will not have to undergo an evaluation to become an emotional support animal due to the lack of training required.
The first thing you need to do when trying to get an emotional support dog is visit your doctor or psychiatrist. Once these medical professionals evaluate your mental health, they can determine whether or not you are a good candidate for this type of treatment.