You’ve decided to get an emotional support animal to help you cope with your mental disorder. Now the question is: which type of animal will you choose? Virtually any species is permissible, as long as it helps you with your specific disorder. It can even be a pet you already own, who is upgraded to ESA status via an ESA letter. Following traditional pet form, dogs are the most popular emotional support animals, followed by cats. But even if you’ve decided on a dog, there are so many different breeds to choose from! Each comes with its own pros and cons, and some might suit your specific disorder more than the others. So let’s take a look at Yorkshire Terriers and see if we can answer the question: is a Yorkshire Terrier a good ESA dog?
First, let’s consider what makes a good ESA dog in general. In many ways, it depends on the mental disorder you’re trying to alleviate. Big dogs, with a sturdy dependable presence, bring a very different energy to a household than a smaller dog. Dogs who need to be walked consistently might be better suited for people with depression symptoms than those with anxiety. On the other hand, dogs who don’t require much maintenance can be much more suited for owners with anxious tendencies, as they don’t have to worry about them as much.
Yorkshire Terriers generally have excellent temperaments. They make perfect lapdogs, and will often seek out their owners for affection. They also do not require a huge amount of space or exercise, making them a great choice for people who live in apartments or smaller houses. To top it all off, they’re very friendly and will interact well with strangers or other pets. They will often appreciate lots of physical contact, which fulfils the role that many patients require of their ESAs: that of simply being present.
Emotional support animals don’t receive any specific training for their role, unlike service dogs. Instead, they support their owner through their continued presence in their lives. Some patients require more responsibility in their lives. Some patients respond well to getting outdoors more. Others will simply be happy to have a companion with them, alleviating any feelings of loneliness. Specific laws are put in place to help owners and their animals. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) provide provisions to allow ESAs to both live and travel with their owners respectively.
Most rented accommodation disallows pets. Similarly, airlines generally forbid animals from traveling in airplane cabins. These two laws change that for ESAs. Yorkshire Terriers make great emotional support dogs on these fronts, as they are small and very portable. It’s simple to bring them on a plane, and they won’t take up much room in any accommodation. If you intend to do a lot of travelling, or if you rent long-term, a small dog like a Yorkie might just be perfect for you. They are also hypoallergenic, making them perfect for patients with allergies.
So how do you go about qualifying a Yorkshire Terrier ESA? Basically, the process is the same, no matter which animal you’re choosing. You must apply for an ESA terrier letter through a registered mental health professional. This can be your local doctor, or it can be procured online. Either way, the ESA letter is a very important document. It acts as proof that you’re entitled to own an emotional support animal. You must bring it with you if you intend to board a flight. Similarly, you must present it to a potential landlord if they ask for it. Bear in mind, however, that people cannot ask about the specifics of your illness, as it’s against the law.
Once you’ve got your ESA terrier letter, you can start looking for your new Yorkie friend! Keep in mind that the letter doesn’t limit you to any one animal or species; if you change your mind at the last minute, that’s totally fine! You can also make an existing pet an ESA, once you obtain a letter. So if you already own a Yorkshire Terrier and want to make it an ESA, that’s possible too! The letter doesn’t apply to the animal, it applies to the patient. It concerns you and your mental illness, and views the ESA as part of your treatment plan.
Deciding which type of ESA to get can be a tough choice. Ultimately, a Yorkshire Terrier ESA might best suit an anxiety sufferer. They are constantly present and available, they don’t require much upkeep, and they don’t have to be walked as much as other breeds. That’s not to say they wouldn’t make a suitable ESA for someone with depression too! Ideally, your ESA is going to be by your side for the majority of your mental health journey, so it’s important to pick the right one! If you think a terrier ESA might be the pet for you, start investigating how you can apply for your ESA terrier letter today!