Much controversy has surrounded the rising popularity of ESAs (emotional support animals) in recent years, but the fact is, many with anxiety disorders, PTSD, clinically diagnosed depression, and other psychological conditions have been "prescribed pets" and these individuals can legally take their ESA pets where others can't.
Caring for these animals is a top priority in maximizing their support.
1. Hire quality pet care when you can't deliver it personally.
Let's say you had to go to a hospital where dogs are strictly not allowed (even ESAs), you're about to visit a dear friend who's severely allergic to dogs, or you're going to work, shopping, or anywhere else and, in a rare instance at least, you can't bring your ESA.
Research ahead of time a professional pet sitting company you can trust. Don't be left scrambling last-minute looking for a pet sitter and end up settling for second-best.
2. Support your pet's emotional health, even as it supports yours.
Caring for your dog, and just having him/her around, can boost your mood and help your overall emotional health. But what about your pet's emotional health?
First of all, be on the lookout for signs Rover may be suffering from depression. Does he eat regular, sleep normally, get enough time out of doors, stay active, and seek attention? Compulsive licking, "droopiness," and showing the whites of its eyes are additional signs.
3. Invest in a high-quality pet insurance policy.
A third area of pet care that's often neglected is pet insurance. Only 1% of pet owners insure their pet, but ESA owners should surely be among those who do, given how much they rely on their pets.
The high cost of emergency care and a stay at the pet hospital forces many pet owners to choose between their pet's well being (or life) and emptying their entire savings – or going into debt to save their pet.