For anyone seeking the companionship of an emotional support animal, adopting the right pet can be as difficult of a decision as it is important. From cats and dogs, to rabbits, and even pigs, the choices available are varied and plentiful. Not only does each animal come with their own needs and benefits, but individual breeds within each animal type are just as diverse, hosting a range of energy levels, temperaments, and attention requirements.
Emotional support animals can provide a plethora of benefits, besides that of companionship. The positive impacts they have on their owner’s life through lessening possible feelings of isolation or loneliness, encouraging them to become more active members of society, or simply calming feelings of anxiety in specific situation, cannot be understated. However, it’s essential to establish which kind of pet is right for you, and the responsibilities that go along with it.
Variables such as lifestyle, household size, children, age, and funds are all vital and meaningful questions someone should ask themselves before making the decision to adopt a pet. Every animal is different, so finding the one that’s right for you is central to determine, for the wellbeing of both the owner and their four-legged friend.
The average lifespan of most household pets is 12-15 years – like the old saying goes, a dog isn’t just for Christmas. Therefore the most imperative question for someone seeking immediate comfort from an emotional support animal, is are you willing to care for a pet year after year. A factor of this also comes down to the breed; researching differences between dogs or cats will assure the animal will fit into your lifestyle – there’s nothing worse than bringing a new pet home then finding it isn’t working out.
Additional things to consider are if there is a garden available, is that garden secure, and if renting a property, do you have permission from the landlord. Property agencies have been known to allow cats but not dogs for example. Making a home pet friendly before adopting, such as removing toxic plants from a garden, or moving chemicals from low storage, should be considered for the animal’s safety.
There are of course many differences when it comes to an emotional support animal; however, requiring a certain level of attention is a constant. For those with a hectic work life, busy social life, and love to do a bit of travel on the side, adopting a pet isn’t always a wise choice, as not giving them enough attention can have a serious detriment on their wellbeing. But for those with the time, a cute fluffball is the perfect way to brighten up a home.
Upon considering which emotional support animal is right for you, you may find yourself hitting a wall of pros and cons. These pros and cons will ultimately lend themselves to instructing the compatibility between an animal and their owner, so they are important to determine.
For those whose calendar is more often than not overflowing with appointments, adopting a dog may not be the best choice. Dogs have far more energy than most other household pets, in-turn requiring significant attention and exercise. Furthermore, dogs require training as well as frequent trips outside to use the bathroom, especially when they’re still a puppy.
Puppies often cry at night when they’re first brought home, and can have numerous accidents until they’re fully bathroom-trained; so for someone who is desiring a dog but has either a lack of time or patience, consider adopting one who is fully grown to help mitigate these issues. Dog owners almost always wish to get their puppy neutered, due to the decrease in aggression and sexual behavior it provides. With any trip to the vets though, having a dog can be pricey – significantly more than with other animals.
Cats, on the other hand, are an ideal choice for anyone seeking an emotional support animal with a little less reliance on their owner. Cats are incredibly self-sufficient; they bathe themselves, play with toys all by themselves, and are more easily able to cope with extended periods of time on their own. Cats can be just as loving as dogs too, with some – the Manx cat for example – which can even be training to walk on a leash.
It’s not just limited to cats and dogs either. Rabbits and even pigs can make for effective emotional support animals. Like with cats, rabbits can use a litterbox, play with toys, are extremely curious, and are also relatively laid-back. They are known to nibble though, so keeping all important document out of reach is advised. Rabbits also require the companionship from their own kind, as well as their owner, so it’s never recommended to just get the one.
You may be surprised to hear that pigs make for excellent emotional support animals, and contrary to popular belief, are in fact especially clean creatures. Of course, they require a certain amount of outdoor space, but they’re easily trained due to their high intelligence, and are inexpensive to feed. For those considering multiple pets, pigs are known to get on much better with cats than they do with dogs – something to keep in mind in terms of living space.
Emotional support animals come in all shapes and sizes. Researching differences among them, as well as their breeds, should be any future pet owner’s first step; proper nutritional information, attention requirements, and lifestyle considerations are equally as vital. But while this process may seem daunting at first, you can rest assured that’s there’s an emotional support animal out there for everyone.