As the name suggests, emotional support animals (ESA) provide emotional support through companionship to someone battling mental and emotional issues. They may be able to help alleviate someone’s symptoms of phobia, depression, and anxiety. However, they are not to be confused with service animals, which are generally trained to perform specific tasks and assist those with disabilities.
To start, ESAs can be your guide to stable and healthy emotional well-being. They’re not just another member of the household but also a living aid that can offer many therapeutic benefits. And with that, if you or a loved one is suffering from mental and emotional imbalance, adopting an ESA can be an option worth considering.
On that note, you also have to take care of them for them to continue taking care of you. As a pet owner, it’s your duty and responsibility to ensure that these furry creatures are not only healthy but also safe and happy. With that said, here are some helpful tips on how you can show your support pets how much you care and love them:
1. Keep Them Stress-Free
Emotional support pets may help reduce your stress and anxiety, but it doesn’t mean they don’t get stressed. Pets often get stressed for various reasons. For instance, they could become uneasy because of loud noises, boredom, frustration, being left alone for a long time, or simply hugging them.
But there are ways to reduce the stress on your pets. Here are some tips that may help you:
- Stimulate Their Minds
Mental stimulation can help ease the boredom in pets that may cause them stress. Keep their minds engaged by giving them a puzzle to learn and smart toys. You can bring in some treats as encouragement.
- Nourish With Supplements
Supplements can help your pets stay calm, relieve anxiety, and mitigate fear. But before doing so, always consult with your vet to ensure the safety of your pets.
- Play Music
Like humans, music can also be soothing for your pets. However, never give them loud music that can disrupt their relaxation. Instead, offer them some mellow sounds, such as classical music.
Furthermore, if your emotional support pet is a miniature horse, visit your vet first to learn the basics of stress management in horses. Doing so can help you ensure that you’re doing the right way of relieving the anxiety of your pet.
2. Workout With Your Pet
Working out with your pet can help improve not only your quality of life but your pet’s as well. They can promote a positive mood and healthy body, encourage fun and excitement, and are a great way to bond with your furry companion.
If you’re looking for new ways to stay active with your pet, below are some activities and exercises you can do with your emotional support pets. With that in mind, always take safety as your top priority whenever you exercise with or without your pet.
- Yoga With Pets
It may come as a surprise, but pets can also learn and do yoga with you. You can teach them basic stretching or even adapt different yoga positions.
- Go For A Walk, Run, Or Hike
Taking your pet outdoors is a great way to work on your pet’s agility and endurance. In addition, it can also be a great chance to enjoy the scenic view and get some fresh air.
- Fun Games
There are plenty of fun and interactive games you can do with your pet outdoors. For instance, you can play a fetch game, frisbee, tug of war, and many more. Doing such activities doesn’t only engage your pet physically but you as well.
3. Feed Them Properly
It is essential that you feed your emotional support animal with nutritious and high-quality food so they can stay healthy. Aside from that, ensure that you also know and understand which food they can or cannot eat.
For example, you might love garlic and onions but not your dog. Essentially, these two food ingredients are harmful and toxic for dogs. In severe cases, poisoning from these can be fatal for your pet. It is why it’s crucial to determine the right food for your pets because what’s good for you may be bad for them.
Also, if you’re giving them treats, consult your vet to find which dog treat is perfect for their size and breed.
4. Provide Regular Checkups
Visiting your vet as regularly as possible is one way to keep your pet healthy and free from diseases. It could also help you identify possible ailments your pet might have, including allergies, digestive issues, urinary incontinence, or viral infections. Discovering health problems as early as possible can help your emotional support pet stay healthy and live longer.
Emotional support animals are always there when you need them the most. So, it’s only proper to give them all the love and care they deserve. Above are some care tips that can help you show affection for your pets. But if you encounter some problems along the way, don’t hesitate to consult a vet right away.