Everything You Need to Know About Emotional Support Animals

Generally speaking, humans and animals tend to live apart. We pass hundreds of animals on a daily basis. However, we tend live alongside them with little interaction. But then there are animals who we actively incorporate into our lives. Nine times out of ten, these animals will be pets. We offer them a comfortable home to live in, in exchange for their companionship, loyalty, and unconditional love. However, you will often find that different people rely on their pets to a different extent. Some treat them as pets. Others treat them as family. If you find that you have a particular bond with your pet and rely on them for emotional support on a regular basis, you could say that you have an emotional support animal. Read on for everything you need to know about this!

What Actually Is An Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal, otherwise referred to as an “ESA”, is a companion creature who actively provides their owner or handler with emotional support that can significantly improve their overall health, happiness, and wellbeing. In order for an animal to be officially recognized as an emotional support animal, they will have to be signed off by a psychiatrist, psychologist or other qualified health practitioner. This individual will verify that this pet’s presence is necessary for you to maintain a good quality of life. You can then enroll your pet as an ESA and receive official documents to confirm this through certa pet.

Can My Pet Be an ESA?

ESAs tend to be most beneficial for individuals who suffer from some sort of physical, psychiatric, or intellectual problem or disability. If you fall into this category, your pet may be an ESA. There are no species specific requirements for ESAs. While dogs tend to be the most common form of emotional support animal, any animal can qualify. So, if you have a cat, bird, or even a more alternative pet such as a hedgehog, these could all count.

How Can I Benefit from ESA Certification?

There are certain situations in life where you could potentially be separated from your pet. This, of course, could be extremely traumatic if you have a special bond. ESA certification can help to guarantee that you and your pet can remain together. Say you move into a privately leased house and the landlord may say that they have a no pets policy. An ESA certificate can be used to ensure that your pet is allowed in the house, regardless of the no pets policy. An ESA certificate can also be used to ensure that your pet can travel with you on airlines that may otherwise exclude pets from the cabin.

 

This is just a brief introduction to emotional support animals. Hopefully, it has proven useful, and you can put the information to good use if you have an animal of your own who offers you emotional support in your life!


LETS GET SOCIAL...

How To Approach the Subject of Addiction with a Loved One

Have you noticed the tell-tale signs that someone is suffering from an addiction? Perhaps you have picked up on subtle yet worrying habits? Is a friend or family member being evasive? Other signs of a secret problem include frequent lies, major changes in energy levels, a loss of interest in the things they used to love, a change in appearance, memory loss, and stealing. If you have noticed any of these signs and you believe that someone you love is suffering from an addiction, it is important to get them the help they need. However, this is a lot easier said than done. Merely bringing up the subject is difficult, as you don’t want the person to react in a bad way. Plus, there is always the worry that you have got it wrong. So, how do you approach the subject of addiction with a loved one?

  • Get the timing right - One of the most important things when talking about any type of serious matter is getting the timing right. You could arrange a day out with the person so that you get to spend some quality time together, and then bring the subject up towards the end of the day. Don’t dive right in, as they will assume that is the only reason you invited them in the first place. It is also important to make sure the person is as clear-headed as possible. Otherwise, you run the risk of them becoming defensive and angry, plus it is likely that they may not even remember the conversation.

  • Ease into the conversation - You need to approach a conversation like this gently. You can ask your friend or family member what they have been up to lately or what plans they have for the coming weekend. This enables you to set up the conversation.

  • Be careful with your suggestions - Don’t tell the person what they need to do; no one wants to be made to feel like a child. You need to leave the ball in their court, or at least make it feel like you are. For example, you could tell them that you know a clinic with really good suboxone doctors and leave them the details for it. This approach - that you are not judging them but you care about their health and well-being - will typically be better received. The person is likely to be in pain, both physically and emotionally, so this is something they may really think about. Once you feel the person is ready to address their issues, you can then suggest that they join a support group that is tailored to their specific addiction.

  • Avoid accusatory language - You need to tread very carefully when it comes to the language you use. If you are someone that doesn’t tend to think before they speak, give yourself a moment before you say anything. If you accuse the person of having a problem or you belittle them, they are only going to end up getting defensive. Don’t say things like “you have been really angry lately” or “you have missed a lot of work.” It will only make them feel small.

  • Set boundaries - It is really important to set boundaries, not only for your own protection, but also to let your loved one know that their addiction is impacting the relationship you have. For example, if you have children, you can tell the person that you love them very much, but you can’t have them around your kids while this addiction is on-going. After all, we all want to set good examples for our children, and you need to protect them first and foremost.

  • Don’t press the issue - It can be very frustrating is someone says they don’t have a problem, and you know that they do. However, if you keep hammering it home, they are only going to get more and more defensive. You have said what you needed to say, let it settle in, and then see what happens. It could be that the person goes home and reflects on the conversation and then comes back to you for help. If not, you will need to try and broad the subject again at a later date.

 

All in all, there is no denying that the subject of addiction is one of the most difficult ones to talk about with someone you love. However, if you suspect that someone is suffering from any type of addiction, it is important that they get the help they need. Use the tips mentioned above, and hopefully, you will be able to have a fruitful conversation with the person you care about and this will be the start of their recovery.


LET'S GET SOCIAL...