However, climate is also a very important factor to consider, and it is one that many people will neglect to think about. Where you live and the weather in your location will be key in deciding what kind of animal will be able to offer you emotional support.
ESAs and Cool Climates
Depending on the type of animal you’re thinking about getting for an emotional support animal, there will be considerations relating to climate to take in. If you live in a particularly warm climate, it would not be good to invest in a large dog with heavy fur that would be better suited to a cooler climate, like a husky or a St. Bernard.
Similarly, Maine Coon cats and other breeds with thick fur will not be comfortable in a hot and humid environment. You will also need to consider how wet environments will affect the coats of furrier animals, who may end up with matted fur due to moisture and dirt or mud.
Reptiles are cold blooded, so if you’re somewhere that is prone to ice and snow, you will have to ensure that your lizard or snake has access to heat sources so that they will be able to regulate their internal temperatures.
Certain dog breeds, particularly smaller ones, will also find it difficult to adjust to a cooler climate. If you have a dachshund, Chihuahua or another smaller breed, remember that they will find it difficult to walk on icy surfaces and will need little sweaters or coats to keep them cozy during the winter months. (This can be a blessing in disguise, as you’ll be able to pick cute outfits to keep your pal warm and comfortable!)
Finally, if you’re living somewhere colder, make sure your home is well insulated and that you have proper central heating.
Warm Weather and Emotional Support Pets
The good news is that many animals are pretty adaptable once they are given appropriate support to readjust to an environment that they may not be used to. People in warmer areas should make sure that their ESAs have access to cold, fresh water and that there are areas of appropriate shade in their homes.
If your animal seems to be having trouble adjusting to the heat, don’t be embarrassed to take them to your vet to see if there is more that you can do to ensure that they are comfortable.
ESA Pets and Wet Weather
Of course, climate doesn’t only mean temperature. If you live somewhere particularly wet, it’s probably not a good idea to get a large dog (unless you like frequent walks in the rain).
Larger breeds of dog require frequent walking and rain walks can often mean mud walks, so unless you’re willing to get out into the wet weather yourself and clean up your furry friend afterward, it’s probably better to get a smaller dog or a cat. They don’t require as much exercise, which will ensure that your ESA doesn’t add further stress (as opposed to taking it away as its meant to).
Other Weather Conditions to Consider with Your Emotional Support Animal
There are also ways in which a climate will add to the fun that your emotional support animal can have with you. If you’re lucky to live in a rural area with lots of greenery, it is the ideal opportunity to bring an ESA dog out for beautiful and long walks in lush scenery.
Dogs can also benefit from being brought on hikes in sunny weather, as long as they are provided with water and shade when you have a break. Use the climate you live in to the best of your ability. If you live somewhere with lots of snow, why not get a husky and go sledding?
The good thing about all of these considerations is that there will always be someone on hand to advise you. On matters relating to your emotional support animal’s health, you should make sure that you have a brilliant and understanding vet on hand who will be able to guide you as you make accommodations for your ESA in an extreme climate.
When getting your ESA letter, you should also talk to the healthcare professional that you have your appointment with and they will be able to advise you on the best animals to treat your condition. A patient’s lifestyle and circumstances should always be taken into consideration when making these recommendations, and these people are experts for a reason. Use their knowledge to make the best possible decision, and you’ll be beyond happy with your emotional support animal.