The Benefits of Pets

Service animals have long been relied upon by people with disabilities to help them maneuver through their daily lives. With the rise in recognition of mental wellness as a component of good health, therapy animals have become more common in society due to ‘The Pet Effect’ – the idea that pets can positively impact the wellbeing of humans.  Therapy animals are different from service animals because they provide emotional support rather than perform tasks that improve the independence of a person with a disability.

Therapy animals can help reduce common mental health problems like stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness and social isolation. Having a pet also encourages individuals to be more active, potentially improving cardiovascular health!

If you are interested in an emotional support animal, you will need your family physician to confirm your need for and benefits from a pet in the context of your underlying medical conditions. Using this information, you or a representative must compose an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letter that will be approved by the government. Once your pet is trained in all required ESA courses, they will be officially certified and may accompany you any place a service animal would be allowed.

If you do not require your emotional support animal to accompany you to institutions where pets are normally not allowed, you may visit your local animal shelters or rescue centers during adoption viewing hours or pet stores to find your future friendly, therapeutic, and devoted companion!

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