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Staying fit and healthy is crucial for every living thing on planet Earth. From the giant redwoods of Northern California to the blue whales that traverse the world’s oceans to the elephants and giraffes roaming the African Savannah to you and me and on down to the hedge in your back garden and the bacteria in your gut — all living creatures need to maximize their health. Your emotional support pet is, of course, no exception to this.

Here are seven ways to keep your emotional support pet fit, healthy and happy.

Give Your ESA Animal a Great Diet

Just as with human beings, emotional support animals are what they eat. It is crucial to provide your emotional support pet with high-quality food that will keep it fit, full, energetic, happy and healthy.

When you choose a particular species of ESA animal, you will need to do some research and find out what specific foods your new friend should and shouldn’t be eating. Simply giving your emotional support pet the leftovers from your dinner table is rarely good enough, as many animals have dietary requirements that are quite different to those of humans. Your emotional support dog may lick his lips at the smell of chocolate cake, but that doesn’t make it any good for him. So make sure your ESA animal has plenty of suitably healthy food and copious amounts of tasty and refreshing H2O!

See That Your Emotional Support Pet Gets Exercise

It is important to find out exactly how much exercise your particular ESA animal needs in order to stay fit and healthy and then to make very sure that it gets it.

You don’t need to take your emotional dog support to the gym and teach it to squat and deadlift, but you do need to make sure your emotional support pet gets adequate and abundant exercise.

Each ESA animal species has its own specific physical exercise needs. Most relatively large common pets, such as dogs and pigs, will require time exercising outdoors on a daily basis. Smaller support species, such as rats and hamsters, can get some good exercise indoors, but even these little guys should be taken outside for a roam on a regular basis.

It is important to find out exactly how much exercise your particular ESA animal needs in order to stay fit and healthy and then to make very sure that it gets it. An out of shape emotional support animal is an unhappy emotional support animal!

Provide a Clean and Comfortable Living Quarters

Home is where the heart is, and cleanliness is next Godliness. No emotional support pet can be optimally happy and healthy if it does not have a clean and cozy home to call its own. Whether it’s a comfy rabbit’s hutch, a soft and warm dog’s basket, or an alluring, Goldilocks-zone temperature fish tank — all species of emotional support animals require a perfect home within your home.

As usual, you will need to do some research to find out how your particular species of emotional support pet likes to live. Don’t cut corners and buy second-rate equipment as this will quite probably result in your pet’s quality of life, happiness, fitness and health being less than optimal. Make certain that your ESA animal is supplied with a clean and comfortable homestead.

Have Lots of Social Contact with Your Emotional Support Pet

MooshMe - cat

So make sure you share the love with your emotional support pet. You will both reap the rewards!

Many of the most popular emotional support animal species are popular precisely because they have highly social natures. Rats, dogs and pigs are well-loved because they love well!

When you are the lucky owner of a highly social ESA animal, it is crucially important for its health and happiness that you provide it with as much social contact as it needs. It is a criminal neglect of your responsibility as an ESA owner to leave a highly social emotional support pet, such as a pig, rat or dog, on its lonesome for a long period of time. So make sure you share the love with your emotional support pet. You will both reap the rewards!

Organize for Your ESA Animal to Have Playdates

If your emotional support pet is of a species that typically lives in tightly bonded groups in the wild, such as a rat, it is really quite crucial for its health, fitness and happiness that you get more than one of that animal so it need never experience the pain and unnaturalness of being alone. Even species that can handle being alone, such as dogs and cats, will benefit hugely from time spent playing and bonding with other members of their own species. Doggy playgrounds are popular in most towns and cities these days, and if there are none in your area, a simple trip to the park or a visit to a friend’s house who also has a pet will do the trick. 

Bring Your ESA to the Vet

Not all illnesses are obvious from the outside. So even if there are no immediate symptoms of any problems, it is imperative that you bring your emotional support pet to the vet regularly for checkups. This will make sure that your little friend is not suffering in silence needlessly.

If you take care of these seven areas, your ESA animal should be fit, healthy and happy.