Pets are a pretty standard household member in the United States. Pets keep you company, add fun and exercise to your life, and give you a sense of responsibility. They can be the perfect addition to someone’s life who is lonely, while also providing services to the disabled. Many people living with PTSD and people with disabilities get service dogs to help emotionally support them. There are all sorts of creatures that make good comfort animals. In this blog post, we want to educate you on the comfort/service animal options, and anything else you might need to know about comfort animals.
Types of Comfort Animals
There are hundreds of different animals that you can choose from, but we are going to list out a few that are the most popular pets to consider. This should help you recognize what exactly you want in your pet. We will also fill you in a bit later on what you will need to take care of the animal that you have chosen.
The canine has been called man’s best friend for years. There’s a good reason for this too; dogs provide companionship and overall energy that can light up a less than energetic home. There are many different dog breeds to choose from, but there are also some specific breeds that are known for accomplishing various tasks.
If you are looking at getting an emotional support dog, here are five of the most popular breeds to look into.
The best thing about Labs is their endless energy. They can run all day and even complete simple tasks. If you are looking into a service dog for someone with disabilities, the Lab is a great option.
Police officers and the military use the German Shepherd because of the incredible nature of the dog. It has an obedient personality, and it loves completing tasks. It can do chores that the average or normal canines cannot do, so if you need a task-first dog, the German Shepherd is the way to go.
You might be thinking, “Why in the world is the poodle on this list? It’s just a small, lean dog that can’t accomplish anything?” But quite the opposite, Poodles are natural support animals. They excel in adapting to new environments, and they live for quite a long time in the scope of dog years. They might be a little more high maintenance than you expect, but they are fun as well. If you can handle the extra work to keep them nicely trimmed, then the poodle is a magnificent comfort animal.
One of the most psychologically helpful dogs, the Yorkshire Terrier can develop a powerful bond with its owner. Because of this quality, the Yorkie is an excellent move for anyone struggling with PTSD, depression, anxiety, or other mental handicaps. Consider this dog, especially if you need psychological support. Just understand, the Yorkie probably won’t be accomplishing any tasks for you.
If you asked me to picture a dog that would be “man’s best friend” I would imagine a beagle. They are fun-loving dogs that are great for companionship, accomplishing tasks, and don’t require too much maintenance. The beagle has the softest fur of any of the dogs on our list, and they are a fun cuddling dog. If you are looking for a friend to fetch a stick during the day and cuddle up with at night, you really should consider the Beagle.
Cats are also magnificent support animals. They cannot accomplish as many tasks as dogs can, but they are fun-loving creatures as well. One of the reasons that people go with cats instead of dogs is because some people are victims of traumatizing situations involving a dog. Therefore, the smaller cat can be used to help someone’s emotional support.
Often, nursing homes and palliative care offices use cats to provide a calming presence over the office. The felines can go from room to room, check up on patients, and even alert a nurse if something is wrong. Overall, you might not be a cat person, but they still supply plenty of comforts and emotional support.
Horses provide something called equine therapy, which is becoming extremely more and more popular in the psychological world. When you have to take care of a horse, it requires more responsibility than other animals. This forces the owner to be more proactive, and in turn, helps the owners mental state.
Horse riding improves the mental state even more. When riding a horse, you have to build up a relationship and confidence with the animal before you can successfully ride it. The horse demands much of its rider, and the relationship that builds between them is incredible. Horses can be an excellent comfort animal, be sure you do research and know what you are getting into before you go with a horse. The food cost is crazy, and you can’t just keep it in your backyard.
We’re going to lump these two together because they are relatively similar. Either way, these two smaller animals are a great combination of support and easy to maintain. You can feed them at a relatively low cost, and you don’t have to worry about giving them any exercise either. They will run around the house, and that will be pretty exhausting for them. Even though they are small, they are plenty of fun to play with and enjoy as a comfort animal, so we highly recommend them.
Snakes and lizards might terrify you, but if you are someone like me, you find a fascination with them. Many in the UK have turned to reptiles as the most popular form of a pet or emotional support animal. Reptiles aren’t like any of the other animals on our list. They are incredibly tough animals to provide for, and you will have to keep a close eye on them. I know a few different people who have reptiles as animals, and they absolutely love them.
Who doesn’t want to be able to hold a conversation with their pet? Okay, we understand, it will be a pretty one-sided conversation, but it still can be an awesome characteristic. Parrots are the most common bird, and if you get one just be ready for it to repeat you. One of the coolest things about parrots as emotional support animals is the ability they have to help people going through anxiety or depression. These birds are dedicated to helping people, and you can really tell. Don’t believe me, why don’t you go ask the parrot what he thinks.
Resources and Upkeep with your Animal
With any animal, you are going to need to provide a good home and food. You cannot just buy an animal and then neglect it in your home. People do this and it’s terrible. You should only purchase a comfort animal if you actually have the means to provide for it, the time to train it, and the energy to give it attention when you are at home. If you cannot accomplish all three of these things, it is unwise to get a support animal.
For many of these animals, the maintenance and upkeep are relatively low. For instance, a rabbit does not require as much food or outdoor exercise as a dog. A canine definitely doesn’t require as much sustenance as a horse does. So we recommend that you pick an animal that fits your lifestyle. If you don’t plan on being at home much, a dog that you can take with you, or a smaller animal might be best for you.
Be sure to budget all of these things into your lifestyle when you go to purchase your animal.
Places to Go With Your Furry Friend
There are many different places you can visit that are listed as pet-friendly. First off, if you are traveling, many shopping centers, city attractions, and popular restaurants allow you to bring your pet inside. Some museums do as well.
There is nothing better than the good old park, and this might be the best place for you and your support animal. If so, consider what you need to do to keep your creature correctly behaved. You might need a leash or training before you take a rabbit, dog, cat, or another animal in public.
Beaches are super popular. Many of them are pet-friendly and will allow you to enjoy the sand and water together.
You also need to realize where you are taking your animal. You cannot take your horse or snake to the beach. It’s just not a good idea for you or the people around you.
There are also pet-friendly hotels littered across the United States. Hotels like Aloft and Holiday Inn offer a wide selection of services while also a pet-friendly environment.
The biggest thing to remember when taking your comfort animal out in public is that you are allowed to take them. Check online before you go anywhere with them. This will keep you from making a mistake. No one wants to turn the car around and head all the way home to drop off Fido.
How to Get a New Pet
There are a few different ways we recommend getting a new pet or comfort animal. Here are some of the most practical ones.
The ASPCA is a great option for adopting a pet without a home. You can get all sorts of animals from them and you can take a look at their website to see exactly what they offer. The cool thing about this is that you get to help an animal without a home as well as add a new friend to your own home.
Pet-Stores Near You
This is kind of obvious but there might be a pet store near your home that you can visit. You need to do research before buying any pet because of the necessary registration they might require. So be sure you look up the pet store beforehand and make sure they have a good track record and know what they are doing. If not, you should consider a different way to get a comfort animal, and not bother with a tough store that won’t give you what you want.
A Big Chain Pet-Store
This is different from a local pet store and is one of the big chains of pet-stores in the world. These would be places such as Petco, Petsmart, and Paw Paws USA. These chains have a bunch of different pets, and you can also shop for everything you will need to help keep your support animal fed, housed, and happy.
Obviously, the health of your pet is extremely important. Make sure you don’t neglect a veterinarians visit soon after bringing your pet home. You want to get them the correct shots and pills that they need to take on a weekly or monthly basis. Keeping your creature healthy and happy is one of the best ways to increase their positivity. So be sure to enjoy the companionship by helping them stay well.
To sum it all up, pets are awesome. Whether you’re like me, and you love dogs, or there is another pet that we have listed that really grabs your attention, all of them are viable options for emotional support. The most important thing is that you select a pet that you can provide for and one that pushes you to be more positive. The more it helps you, the more you can help it, and those around you.
We recommend that you do a little more research before selecting a pet, so be sure to figure out what you will need and what you will be dealing with when you purchase.
Who knows, next week you could be taking your new dog for a walk, or preparing the litter for your feisty little feline. Either way, one thing is for sure, pets make the world a much better place, and they can help you mentally and emotionally to succeed.