How To Know If You’re Ready For an Emotional Support Animal

If you have moments of intense mental distress, either at work, with family, or when out and about, then you might want to consider bringing an emotional support animal into your life.

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If you have moments of intense mental distress, either at work, with family, or when out and about, then you might want to consider bringing an emotional support animal into your life. These cute companions are great because they can be a friend when you need them most, and they could even help you to perform better at work. Plus, you can lean on them when you are having a panic or anxiety attack.

In order to understand if you truly need a support animal or not, you need to think about your current situation and talk to a professional if necessary. In addition, you will need to look at your home and finances and determine if you’re ready to take on a new responsibility. Today, we will talk about those considerations and more.

1. You May Need Help If You Are Stressed At Work

Many people who have emotional support animals often do so because they are stressed or uneasy while at work. While you may be a great employee with an awesome work ethic, if you are often irritable, riddled with anxiety, or experience mood swings, then it may be time to look into a support animal. If you don’t remedy the situation soon, your problems could increase. 

Those who experience negative mental health in the workplace can start to feel the effects of burnout, and when you are exhausted and depressed, your cognitive abilities start to decline and the quality of your work can suffer. You may be hesitant because you know that your job has a “no pets” policy, but if you explain your situation to the human resources department, then they may gladly make an exception so they can continue to retain your great services.

2. You Are Experiencing PTSD Symptoms 

Another common mental health issue is post-traumatic stress. The source of your PTSD could come from any number of serious life events, from time in the military to the death of a loved one. Those who deal with PTSD can often experience flashbacks, frightening thoughts, and general negativity toward the world.

If you find that you are dealing with PTSD or something close to it, then you may want to consider a support dog. You can start the process by speaking to a licensed medical professional who may supply you with an ESA letter. 

3. Talk To A Therapist

Sometimes, we just don’t feel right, but we don’t know exactly why. If you are not feeling like yourself, then it may be time to speak to a professional therapist. While you can go to a traditional physiatrist, you can also talk to a social worker, mental health counselor, or psychologist, as long as they hold a license.

When you sit down with them, talk about how you really feel and explain the symptoms that you experience most often. After listening to you and asking some questions, they will let you know the best course of action, which could include the use of an emotional support animal.

4. Learn About The Best Pups For Emotional Support

You will also want to research the types of dogs that make the best emotional support dogs and determine if you are comfortable with these particular breeds. For instance, toy poodles make for great companions because they are friendly, social, and hypoallergenic, which makes them great for people who may be sensitive to pet fur.

Many people also go with a chihuahua because they are a very friendly breed and they can fit in a handbag or purse so you can pet them at a moment’s notice. If you do your research and find a breed that pleases you, then you may be ready to get your support animal.

5. Are You Providing A Safe Home?

If you plan to acquire a support animal, then you will need to make sure that you can provide a safe home for your furry friend. You’ll need to give your therapy dog a lot of attention and groom them by brushing their teeth, trimming their nails, and bathing them when necessary. 

You will also need to inspect your dog for fleas and ticks every time they come back from playing outdoors because these pests can spread canine diseases that could cause your pup permanent harm. If you find a tick, you will need to carefully remove it with tweezers and then apply a topical treatment to heal the wound.

6. Determine If You Can Afford The Pet

If you believe that you are ready for a support dog, then the next thing you need to do is look at your finances and determine if you can afford a pet. In addition to basic items like food, a bed, and toys, there are many other costs to consider when owning a dog. For instance, you will need to invest in pet insurance, veterinary costs, and possibly a microchip, so you can find them if they get lost. All in all, the average cost of a dog could be between $500-$2,500 per year. Make a budget to determine if you need to make any adjustments.

As you can see, there are many considerations you will need to make when deciding if you are ready for an emotional support animal. Think about the points mentioned here and make the best decision for your mental health.