So, along with every other person in the Universe this year, you’ve probably heard about the amazing benefits that emotional support animals can have for mental health.
If you’ve been talking to your therapist about potentially integrating an ESA into your mental health plan, it can be kind of daunting knowing where to start.
What type of pet to choose, the perfect breed, the cutest breed…. you know, those hard life decisions.
There are so many different options when it comes to ESAs, so it’s really important that you explore all the info that’s out there before making such a huge commitment. Alright, alright, I know that sounds really adult and boring, so I went right ahead and did the heavy lifting for you.
What Kind Of Pets Make The Best ESA?
ESA Pet Options: The Facts
With all the stories in the news, you’d be forgiven for thinking that people literally go on exotic vacations, capture wild animals and use them as emotional support animals (by the way…do I need to mention that it’s definitely not okay to do this?!).
While wildest of ESAs pop up in the paper and in the nightly news, this does not reflect the real world reality of emotional support animals. Most commonly, emotional support animals are dogs and cats. While it is permitted to have more unorthodox animals as ESAs, the fact is that it can be much more difficult to have them in public spaces or travel with them.
An emotional support dog or cat is much more widely accepted, and so there are likely to be fewer issues with choosing a canine or a feline.
How to Choose a Pet: Temperament, Temperament, Temperament!
No matter what type of pet you decide on as an ESA, it is crucial that they have the right temperament. If the pet has any temperament issues, it can make them ineffective as an ESA and could even be dangerous. When deciding on a pet as an ESA, here are some essential positive characteristics of temperament to look out for:
Some characteristics of temperament to be avoided in a pet that will be an ESA include:
Dog Breeds That Make the Best ESAs
Some dog breeds are more up to the task of being an amazing emotional support animal than others. The dogs below have a reputation for being excellent all-rounders, making them a smart choice for an emotional support animal.
These dogs are lovable, loyal and goofy. Known to be incredibly gentle, they make excellent ESAs. Labradors are also extremely trainable making them easy to take out in public places. They also love slobbering all over their owners in pure affection.
Despite their frankly, quite ridiculous haircuts, Poodles are intelligent and faithful. They pick up new behaviors in a snap due to their willingness to learn, meaning that trip to the airport will be a cake walk. Poodles love to be close to their owners, so are great company as ESAs.
Another popular variation of the Retriever type, these dogs have basically all the good things that Labradors do, just with a beautiful long golden coat. Gentle, friendly, playful and affectionate, they make great ESAs.
Quite possibly one of the most darling dog breeds around, the Yorkie can provide loving lap cuddles all day. It’s a courageous and intelligent little dog, which can make a great ESA on the proviso that it is well-trained.
With its forlorn looking little face you could mistake a Pug for being a sad little pup. However, Pugs are actually a joyful hilarious breed. Docile, charming and quiet, they will keep you feeling positive as an ESA, with their snuggles and hilarious antics.
Cat Breeds That Make the Best ESAs
Cats are often overlooked as emotional support animals, but they can be just as suited for the job. These ESA cat breeds will melt your heart!
Siamese cats make brilliant ESAs because of their social nature. This breed craves company, so if you want to have attention at all times, a Siamese is perfect. They are extremely playful too, so you’ll never be bored.
These fluffy creatures are shy and reserved – until they bond with and fall in love with their owner! Once your Persian ESA has fallen for you, you’ll have unlimited cuddles on tap from this relaxed and quiet breed.
The huge Maine Coon is almost like a cross between a dog and a cat! More open and easy-going than some of their other feline friends, they are great for those who like the idea of the low maintenance of a cat and the personality of a dog. A great choice of ESA for those with social anxiety, due to their outgoing nature.
Just remember, if you choose a pet that is a little more out of the ordinary, you’ll be more restricted in terms of where they are permitted. Most airlines only allow ESA dogs and cats in the cabin with their owners.
In truth, the best type of pet to use as an ESA is an animal that you have a strong bond with that is well-trained. With an ESA by your side, you will be able to accomplish anything you set your mind to and improve your mental health. Go get ’em, tiger! But please – no ESA tigers.