The holiday season is fun for the whole family – your emotional support animal included! Everyone deserves to be included in the celebrations, but if you’re wondering “How can I treat my emotional support animal this Christmas?”, here are a few ideas to help you enjoy the holidays with your ESA.
Your ESA Is Important
Your ESA provides you with help in overcoming or dealing with mental health issues that impact your daily life. They may not be trained to offer specific assistance like a service animal is, but they still play a fundamental role in supporting your health and wellness.
So why include your ESA in your holiday celebrations? Because they matter. When you think back over the past year, it’s probably not lost on you just how much your faithful companion has done to help you feel safe, secure, and at peace. When you’re thinking of the family members and friends to include in your celebrations, your ESA should also be at the top of the list.
Strengthen Your Bond
In order for your ESA to perform the things you need, a strong bond is essential. When you share a solid connection with your animal, it can work wonders for your mental and even your physical health. They help you not to feel lonely, they boost your emotional wellness, and they offer you support when you need it the most by simply being there. So the stronger your bond with your ESA, the better off both of you will be, and the better they can work to support you. Being close to your ESAs at Christmas time is a great way for ESA owners to strengthen their already strong bond with their pet.
How to Celebrate Your ESA
You may have the desire to celebrate the holidays with your ESA but find yourself wondering, “Exactly how can I treat my ESA this Christmas?”. Aside from including them in your holiday plans when possible, you can also do the following…
Find some animal-friendly events
For dogs and cats, as well as some other ESAs, you may be able to find events especially for you and your animal to attend together. Lots of animal shelters have holiday events that help to raise money for the facility. If you have a dog as your ESA, you can check out BringFido.com for events you and your dog can attend together.
Since the end of year is always such a busy time, you might be wondering, “How can I make sure I’m spending the holidays with my emotional support animal?” Well, if your holiday plans encompass going away, one way is to bring your ESA with you. Remember to have all of your ESA documentation up to date and to ensure the place you will be staying at your destination is ESA-friendly. There are a number of pet-friendly hotels if you’re unable to bring your ESA into family or friends’ homes.
Give them homemade treats
Don’t buy your ESA treats at the store – instead, bake them in your very own kitchen. You can find recipes on the internet for just about any animal under the sun. After all, if you’re already busy baking treats for friends, family, and coworkers, then there’s no point in leaving your ESA out!
Have a special Christmas meal
Another integral part of the holidays that you don’t want to leave your ESA out of is a special meal. As you sit down with your traditional turkey or ham, make sure you’ve prepared a special meal for your ESA too. Research foods that are a no-no for your ESA and plan a meal especially for them that’s a departure from their daily kibble.
Buy them a new outfit
Everyone wants to feel spiffy during the holidays, and your ESA is no different. If you have an ESA that enjoys dressing up, then buy them a new outfit. You may want to think about getting them groomed especially for the occasion too.
Go on an extra walk
If your ESA loves walks, then take them someplace special that you know they’ll enjoy for a nice, long Christmas walk. You may want to seize this opportunity to explore some places nearby you haven’t before and go on a special adventure together.
Get a new toy
Many types of ESAs love a brand-new toy. Think about buying a new chew toy or a catnip-scented mouse. You know your ESA best, so find something new that will help them to stay occupied and have a little bit of fun this holiday season.
Your ESA is an important part of your family and Christmas is a time to recognize that. Think of how much they do for you and endeavor to give that back to them each day you have together, especially the holidays. It’s easy to ensure emotional support animals and the holidays are celebrated together, and treating your ESA can work to further improve your mental and emotional health – it simply makes you feel good to do nice things for another creature!