Emotional support animals (ESAs) are commn around the United States, and amongst all the ESA types, dogs are the most popular ESAs. Dogs have been human companions for over ten thousand years and are still human’s best friend. There are close to two hundred dog breeds in the world and each breed is different from the other in its characteristics, habits, behavior, etc. People tend to have some of these breeds as ESAs with an ESA letter, especially those that are very sociable and easily trainable.
Having the dog as the support animal allows the pet dog to have various provisions such that the ESA handler can have the maximum amount of time in the pet’s company. This is essential for an ESA handler as s/he is dependent upon their animal to calm their nerves and avoid anxieties. People who have an ESA letter for their pets are the ones who suffer from mental difficulties or illnesses and require the support of their ESA to lead a normal life— controlling their disabilities and their effects.
To get the ESA you will need to apply for the letter from a licensed mental health specialist in person or through an online service. The procedure to apply in person requires you to go through several sessions with the therapist who will assess your condition. Through the interaction, the specialist will decide whether to prescribing you the ESA letter will help your situation or not. Through the online method, you will be given a questionnaire to fill, which will access your condition and your mental state. A licensed mental health specialist will then go over the answers and assess whether the applicant is suffering from a mental health illness or not. The letter provided to you will mention that you have mental health difficulties (without specifics) and will allow you to have an emotional support dog letter pet.
There are various reasons why dogs are the most popular ESAs amongst people with mental difficulties:
- Easily trainable
The trainability of the dogs makes them ideal ESAs. People can train their dogs to support them by picking up cues according to their body posture, mood, etc. Dogs are highly intelligent animals which makes them quite open to learning new things in less time than other animals. You can speed the process or make it further effective by adding treats to your training.
- Easily socialized
The ESA animal needs to be socialized such that it can adapt to new environments easily. The ESA pet should be friendly around other people, rather than being an aggressive pet dog. You should socialize your pet dog early on such that it learns to be calm around other people and doesn’t cause you unnecessary trouble due to being uncomfortable around people, such as in an airplane cabin, etc.
- Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is just as important as general intelligence, as the dog needs to have a sense of when the person requires emotional and physical support. The dog at times picks up on cues alone to help support their pet parent so that the hypoallergenic dogs is ready in advance to support the ESA handler.
- Variety of breeds
You can choose a dog breed that is suitable for your lifestyle and which won’t get you too much out of your comfort zone. A dog breed that suits your timing, your energy levels, and space needs, will be a good ESA dog, as you will be continuing your life as it is with only a little change.