Emotional support animals, typically dogs and cats, have proven to be very beneficial to people with disabilities. An emotional support animal (ESA) is prescribed by either a psychologist or psychiatrist, and any animal can qualify. To adopt an ESA, a person’s condition must be under the federal definition of disability.
Although applying and being approved for an emotional support animal can get lengthy, it is well worth the process due to the many health and wellness benefits they offer. Here are four reasons you should get an emotional support animal.
1. Constant Companionship
Being disabled and forced to stay home can get lonely and can make a person feel isolated. ESA’s offer constant love and attention and provide 24/7 company for their owner. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and ESA’s promote positivity and companionship, which greatly impacts both.
2. Animals Decrease Stress & Anxiety
It is scientifically proven that playing with your dog or spending time with your pet releases stress. The way it works is while you spend time with your furry friend, endorphins are released in the body. These are also known as “feel good” hormones, which reduce the amount of stress and anxiety a person encounters during the day.
Spending time with animals was also found to bring down high blood pressure levels and cortisol in the body, regulating mood and promoting full-body health.
3. Animals Provide A Sense Of Purpose
Having a reason to get up in the morning is more important than one may think, and many people who are disabled and spend most of their time at home can sometimes struggle with finding their purpose.
An important reason to get an emotional support animal is to provide a sense of purpose for the owner. Being the sole person responsible for feeding, walking, playing with, and caring for the animal is much responsibility, but it also leads to a healthier life.
4. They Promote Exercise
Exercise is crucial to both physical and mental health, but it can sometimes be difficult to find workout motivation. However, people with dogs have to work out several times a day when taking them on walks. With this said, having a dog as an ESA can promote exercise and get a person up and moving even when it may seem impossible.
Where Can An Emotional Support Animal Go?
ESAs can accompany their owners into restaurants and onto planes. They can also live with their owner in renting situations where other dogs may not be allowed. As long as you have an official ESA letter, your pet can accompany you just about everywhere you go.
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Disability Associates, LLC, managed by attorney Tracey N. Pate, provides legal representation to disabled individuals who have applied for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits. Our concentration is exclusively on Social Security Disability law. It’s all we do!