Allergies are an insidious enemy in many people’s lives. Why some folks react to substances in a far more volatile way than others remains a mystery, but unfortunately, that’s the case for millions of Americans across the country. It all starts in the nose; that’s often the first point of entry for those pesky allergic substances, before they go on to irritate the eyes, throat, ears, and even in some cases, the brain. It’s estimated that over 50 million Americans battle allergies of all sorts every year. Some are seasonal, like hay fever, and some are constant, like pets. If you’ve suffered with severe allergies of any sort, you’ll know all too well that they can be a waking nightmare, and you’ll learn to keep well away from your specific triggers. But what if you need a pet as a form of therapy? Are there many breeds of hypoallergenic emotional support animals?
Emotional support animals (also known as ESAs for short) are a progressive new form of therapy involving the use of animals to tackle the most aggressive symptoms of widespread mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, autism in children, and bipolar disorder. The thinking goes (and the studies back up the hypothesis) that the constant presence and companionship of an animal helps to derail the symptoms of these mental health issues. The animals don’t have to be trained in anything specific; just their presence is enough to ease the debilitating effects of some mental disorders.
Emotional support animals can be a new animal or an existing pet, and they can be any type of species of animal you like. As long as it has a positive effect on you and your mental health symptoms, then it’s entirely up to you which animal you choose as your ESA. The status of an emotional support animal is confirmed by an emotional support animal letter, which is given to a patient by a medical health professional. An emotional support animal letter is the key to proving your ESA is valid, and must be retained at all times. They can be acquired in face-to-face consultation, or sourced over the internet via telemedicine.
If you’re getting a new animal, you might be daunted by the amount of options out there. But if you’re getting a new animal and you know you suffer from allergies, you might be even more daunted by the prospect. It’s a catch-22 situation, really; you and your doctor believe an ESA will genuinely help your mental state, but you fear owning an animal will be a constant source of misery due to your allergies. Well, there are some ways around this, you’ll be pleased to hear! This handy rundown of the best hypoallergenic emotional support animals is the perfect way to start.
Kerry Blue Terrier
Dogs are far and away the most popular emotional support animals, just as they are real pets. Fortunately for dog lovers, there’s a couple of perfect breeds for people suffering from allergies. The Kerry Blue Terrier is one of those breeds. It has a non-shedding coat, which means that it’s essentially hypoallergenic, though their soft, wavy coat needs a lot of high-maintenance attention with brushes to keep it in order!
Bichon Frise dogs are another of the most common types of hypoallergenic emotional support animals, as their coats are mostly made up of tight curls, resulting in a very low shedding of dander. Like their non-shedding pals the Kerry Blues, their coats need a lot of attention to maintain.
Cats are popular ESAs for many mental health sufferers, but unfortunately, they are notorious shedders. Even short-haired breeds can shed a fair amount of fur, causing misery for people who suffer allergies. Simply visiting a house where a cat lives can set off vulnerable patients, so getting a cat is largely out of the question for these would-be ESA owners. Unless that cat happens to be a Sphynx cat, however – these bizarre-looking kitties have no hair whatsoever!
Of course, if you’re really worried about your sensitive allergies, it can be best to avoid furry animals altogether. Turtles are very hypoallergenic emotional support animals, and can be quite soothing and therapeutic for people who suffer from anxiety, as watching their methodical plodding has a calming effect. They can be kept indoors or outdoors, and as a bonus are quite easy to travel around with.
A snake would be some people’s idea for a nightmare emotional support animal, but for those who take a liking to these slithering reptiles, they can actually make very agreeable companions. As scales replace fur, there’s no danger of any allergic reaction; though there is some threat of a very adverse reaction from unprepared house guests!
Just remember, at the end of the day, the ESA that works best for your specific mental condition is the one you should opt for, regardless of what other people might think!