Children and Emotional Support Animals

Jun 8, 2021 | Cats, Dogs, Emotional Support Animals, Mental Health

Adults and parents often do not notice emotional and psychological disorders in children. When children experience symptoms of anxiety, it affects them in social situations. When they are still learning and adapting to the world around them, it can be detrimental to their future development.

There are many benefits to getting an ESA pet for a child or teenager. These companion animals are prescribed by licensed medical professionals to help with the deleterious effects of various mental disorders.

There are many kinds of animals that can be as ESAs. They help alleviate the symptoms of disorders regardless of the species. Getting an emotional support animal will be much more helpful than prescribing a child a bunch of medication


Getting an ESA

In order for a pet to be listed as an emotional support animal, there are several mandatory steps that must be followed. The person in question, which could be a child, must be found by a licensed medical professional to have an emotional, psychological or behavioral disorder. This is not limited to one specific disorder, but can consist of a whole spectrum of disorders, including anxiety and depression. If a person is diagnosed with a disorder, he or she may be protected under U.S. federal law.

If a person is diagnosed, a doctor may prescribe an emotional support animal for the child instead of or in addition to other forms of treatment. On an official form, the licensed health care provider will state the child’s diagnosis and the reason the child needs the emotional support animal. With this letter stating the official animal as an ESA, the child can choose his or her own animal. No formal training is required for an ESA, but it must be a non-hostile animal.


Benefits of ESA

Emotional Support Animals are designed to alleviate the symptoms of numerous psychological, emotional and behavioral disorders. This is not an easy task for an animal. But research has shown that the love and affection that pets provide allows a person to go about their business in peace without any negative consequences. Social disorders, anxiety and depression in children have been defeated through the use of ESAs.


Choosing the Right ESA

Since there is no formal training to which a person must subject their ESA, there is no limit to what kind of animal you can take as a companion. There have been cases where turkeys, snakes, and horses have been called emotional support animals. But because babies can be a little more fragile, it’s important to choose the right type of ESA when you’re picking one up for your baby.

Many of today’s ESAs are pets. These include dogs, cats, and fish. Because these animals have different temperaments, it is important to choose an animal that takes into account your child’s sensitivities. A small but energetic dog or cat can be very helpful because of its activity level and size. If the child is a little larger, you may choose a larger ESA, as long as its temperament meets the family’s needs. Labradors, Saint Bernards, and Pomeranians are considered good dogs to have as ESAs.

If you have a child who has been diagnosed with a psychological, emotional or behavioral disorder, getting an emotional support animal is a viable option. If you need more information on this issue, you can check out the frequently asked questions on our website.


Get connected with a licensed healthcare professional to obtain an ESA letter


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