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How to Choose the Right Type of Animal as an Emotional Support Animal?

Updated on June 22, 2023 by Lisa Tevis
Emotional support animals are undoubtedly a new treatment option for various health conditions. They can help treat depression, anxiety, stress, and many more. But can every animal be an excellent emotional support animal?

Most mental health professionals hesitate to prescribe an animal that is not friendly. Additionally, many people who need an ESA reject the idea because it can be difficult to handle an animal.

You must choose an emotional support animal to ease your symptoms, not make your life harder. If you are already dealing with a medical condition, a wrong choice of ESA can increase your stress.

So how do you choose the right type of animal for your emotional support? Before selecting an ESA, you should consider your lifestyle and your expectations with your ESA. Let’s dig into more details.

How to Choose the Right Type of Animal as an Emotional Support Animal?

Why Is Choosing The Right Emotional Support Animal Necessary?

Choosing the right emotional support animal is necessary because different animals have different temperaments, personalities, and needs. A compatible animal can positively impact your mental health, while an incompatible one can have the opposite effect.

For example, an energetic dog may not suit you if you have limited living space, while a cat may not be ideal if you need a lot of physical interaction.
Emotional support animals are not guaranteed entry to public places. Still, if you want to go to public areas such as malls or grocery stores, ensure your pet is friendly and well-behaved.

How To Effectively Choose An Animal As Your Emotional Support Animal.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to effectively choosing an animal as your emotional support animal because everyone has a different lifestyle and preferences. What may be the perfect ESA for one person may not suit another. Here are some points that can help you choose an easy-to-handle and friendly animal for your emotional support.

Consider your living situation:

It’s no wonder some large dog breeds like Great Dane and Irish Wolfhound require large areas to live, while small dog breeds like a pug and Shih Tzu require less. So, it’s essential to consider your home size when choosing an emotional support animal.

Consider your personality:

Every person has a different personality. Some are active, while some are calm and cool. A busy person wants an energetic animal that runs or plays with them actively, while a quiet person may need low-key animals that can play with themselves or requires fewer walks. Consider your personality while selecting an emotional support animal, and choose according to your living.

Consult with a mental health professional:

Your mental health professional can help you to make a more informed decision to choose an animal for emotional support. They know your medical conditions inside out, and after sharing your lifestyle, they can recommend a great animal.

Research the specific breed or species:

Different breeds or species of animals have different temperaments and needs. Some breeds have short temperaments, and the offense needs personal space, which is unsuitable for an emotional support animal. Always research the breed or species to evaluate their temperament and personality to ensure they match you.

Consider the animal’s lifespan:

Considering a lifespan of an emotional support animal is necessary because treating mental conditions is a long process. A shorter lifespan animal can stop your treatment mid-way, negatively impacting your medical condition.

Consider an obedient and intelligent animal.

A good ESA should be obedient and easy to train or learn. An easy-to-learn animal can help you quickly, which saves lots of time in learning basic things. An ESA should be intelligent enough to apply emotional help to the owner when necessary. Quick reactions are essential in cases when an emotional disorder occurs.

Consider a budget-friendly animal.

Some animals require several supplies, including training equipment, toys, and specific types of food packaging. Therefore, evaluating how much you should spend on your animal is essential to determine the breed that’s right for you.

A Friendly and Reliable animal

If you want to be supported by your emotional support animal in public, your ESA must behave appropriately with strangers. Your ESA should be friendly towards both strangers and friends. Moreover, if you suffer from panic attacks or anxiety, your companion animal should remain calm and help you through your distressing situations.

Legal Considerations:

Familiarize yourself with your state’s laws and regulations on emotional support animals. Different stats may have specific rules regarding which animals can be emotional support animals. For example, many states ban pitbull due to their aggressive behavior.

Consider Your Allergies and Sensitivities:

Consider any allergies or sensitivities you or any other family member suffers from. For example, if you’re allergic to fur, choose a different type of animal other than a dog, or that is hypoallergenic. They will be more suitable for your health conditions.

About the Author

Lisa Tevis
Lisa Tevis
Lisa is a talented professional writer at Fast ESA Letter, fueled by a deep passion for animals. With a natural affinity for their well-being, Lisa combines her writing skills with her love for animals to create engaging and informative content. As a proud pet parent, Lisa shares her life with two beloved dogs, who have enriched her understanding of the human-animal bond. Through her work, Lisa aims to raise awareness about emotional support animals (ESAs) and their positive impact on mental health.


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