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Essential Guide to Choosing the Perfect Emotional Support Animal

Blank 2000 x 1500 - 2024-07-04T085553.134Photo by Joe Caione on Unsplash

For many individuals with mental health issues, an emotional support animal (ESA) can be a game-changer. These precious animals can provide the necessary assistance, companionship, and comfort to people suffering from depression, anxiety, and other health conditions. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of getting an emotional support animal and the factors to consider when selecting the perfect ESA. 

Steps to Getting an Emotional Support Animal

While there are various steps to getting an emotional support animal, the process can be straightforward with careful planning and preparation. 

    1. Seek help from a mental health professional

The first step to securing an emotional support animal is getting qualified. If you’re exhibiting signs of a mental health disorder, reach out to a psychologist, therapist, or other licensed mental practitioner right away.

Discuss your symptoms and possible treatments with them, including getting an emotional support animal. It is essential you receive a diagnosis from any of these professionals to be eligible for an emotional support animal.

    2. Secure an ESA letter

 After qualifying, the next step is to secure your ESA letter, a vital document that confirms your need for an emotional support animal. Some elements of an ESA letter include client information, reasons for the emotional support recommendation, and the qualifications of the professional making the recommendation. If you want a hassle-free process of securing an ESA letter, consider working with a trusted company such as Wellness Wag.

    3. Choose your emotional support animal

 While almost all domesticated animals can serve as an ESA, dogs are the most common type, as they are widely accepted in numerous situations. Some of the best dog breed candidates are Labrador retriever, Corgi, Poodle, Maltese, Great Dane, Havanese, Yorkshire terrier, and Golden retriever.

If you already have a furry companion, you can turn them into your emotional support animal instead of getting another dog. However, ensure that your pet is well-behaved, potty trained, and able to follow basic obedience commands, as they will accompany you in public.

Essential Factors to Consider

Aside from the animal type or dog breed, there are other crucial factors you must consider when selecting your emotional support animal.

    1. Lifestyle Needs

 Your lifestyle and household dynamics are vital considerations when choosing an ESA. Do you live alone or with family? Do you have enough space to accommodate a medium to large-size dog? Do you often stay at home or go outdoors? Assess your current living situation and lifestyle needs before bringing a new furry companion home.

    2. Allergies

One significant factor to consider before getting an emotional support animal is allergies. If you live with others, ensure that no one in your household suffers from allergies. Selecting a hypoallergenic dog or a low-dander animal is ideal to prevent unnecessary health complications. 

    3. Maintenance and Care Level

 Caring for an animal requires dedication and patience. Before choosing an ESA, you must be honest with yourself on the level of care you can provide. Make sure to select an emotional support animal that suits your commitment level.


Getting an emotional support animal should not be complicated. Follow these valuable tips and seek assistance if necessary. 

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