Discover the Benefits of Emotional Support Fish

Emotional support animals (ESAs) have the ability to change your life if you get the right fit for you. Millions of people across the world enjoy the benefits of emotional support animals, and some of these benefits can even help you keep your pet in otherwise unfriendly housing. While emotional support dogs and emotional support cats are the most common options, emotional support fish are also an option. Plus, they’re a great choice because you don’t have to worry as much about the smell, noise, or behavior of the emotional support animal.

That said, if you want the benefits of an emotional support fish, it’s more complex than going to a pet store and purchasing one. You need to fill out an emotional support animal application to get an ESA letter, and you have to have a mental health disorder that qualifies for one.

If this sounds complicated, don’t worry, we’re here to help. Read on to discover the benefits of an emotional support fish.

What Is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?

An ESA is an animal that provides comfort for people who struggle with mental health disorders. They can provide comfort by being there for their handler to help with conditions like anxiety, depression, stress, and other mental health issues.

Emotional support animals can also help people who struggle with loneliness or people who have social issues by acting as conversation starters. For this reason, emotional support animals have become popular over the years, and millions of people across the country have them.

Emotional support animals also have some protections under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) that allow them to live in otherwise non-pet-friendly homes. Landlords can evict you if the fish is causing issues, but this is highly unlikely in the case of fish.

Can Fish Be an Emotional Support Animal?

Yes, fish can be an emotional support animal. In fact, there are no limitations on the type of animal that can be an ESA. The biggest thing you have to worry about is the animal’s behavior, but with a fish, this isn’t something you have to worry about because they’re confined to their tank. All you have to do is get approved for the ESA by a licensed mental health professional to obtain an ESA fish. Other aquatic animals that are kept in aquariums can also be an emotional support animal. Some examples include water frogs, starfish, and even crabs or lobsters.

Are Fish Good Emotional Support Animals?

Fish are great emotional support animals. What makes them a good choice is how easy they are to care for and how minimal maintenance they are. Sure, you have to feed them and clean their tank, but you don’t have to worry about taking them for walks or having space in your home for your pets to roam around. Fish are also welcome in most housing situations, so you may not even need an ESA letter in the first place. Additionally, it’s easy to get approved for more than one fish, so you don’t have to worry about any limitations.

What Are the Benefits of an Emotional Support Fish?

Emotional support fish offer plenty of benefits for people who need them. They can help you with mental health disorders, prevent loneliness, and even help with conditions like social anxiety if you’re having people over for the first time. That said, these are only some of the benefits, and we cover a handful of them below.

1.  Combating Loneliness

Having the sound of running water in your home and a fish that swims around is enough to combat loneliness. According to some research, having a single fish can help lonely people feel less lonely. In fact, fish can provide a sense of companionship that’s similar to what dogs, cats, and other emotional support animals can offer.

You’ll want to make sure the tank you have them in is large enough for you to see them. Getting new things for the tank and spending time with your fish can also help you combat loneliness.

2. Stress Relief

When dealing with stressful situations, it might seem easier to cuddle up with a cat, dog, or another type of animal, but a fish can bring some unique aquatic stress relief to your situation. What makes a fish helpful for managing stress is their movement and mood-improving abilities. While this may seem silly at first, a study published in the National Library of Medicine found that watching fish can reduce stress. What’s more, it can reduce blood pressure and heart rate, as well as cortisol levels in the body.

Fish are also simple emotional support animals, so you don’t have to scramble to care for them. They don’t require too much food or interaction, so you don’t have to stress about making sure their needs are met.

3. Anxiety Reduction

One of the best things an ESA fish can do for you is aid in the battle against anxiety. Whether it’s social anxiety or general anxiety, having a fish in your home can help. The same study that found that fish can reduce stress also found that being around an aquarium can have a relaxing effect. This can combat anxiety and prevent anxiety or panic attacks before they start.

In this instance, the fish itself isn’t as important as the fish tank, so keep this in mind. We also recommend getting a fish tank that makes noise and has some unique design elements to distract you from anxiety triggers.

4. Treating Insomnia

Insomnia can be a condition that presents on its own, or it can be a product of anxiety, depression, and stress. The good news is that emotional support fish are great for treating insomnia. This is because they make a soft sound that you will hear throughout the night, and that sound can bring you comfort. Furthermore, it can function as a type of white noise that helps your brain calm down before you close your eyes and go to sleep.

It’s also important to note that a good fish tank will be loud enough to help you stay asleep as well. It can prevent you from waking up from other noises, and it can drown out busy streets.

5. Low Maintenance

For some people, maintenance is a problem when it comes to an emotional support animal. While this benefit isn’t mental, like some of the others that we covered, it’s worth noting. Compared to other ESAs, you don’t have to do much for a fish. It’s okay to leave your home for work or even stay the night at a friend’s house without having to worry about your ESA. Plus, you can have them in multiple locations without having to lug anything around. For example, you can have an ESA fish at home and even at work. While an ESA fish is low maintenance, you still have to feed them and clean their tank.

How to Get an ESA Letter

If you want to have an emotional support fish you need an ESA letter. These letters give you the ability to live in a home or location that’s otherwise not pet-friendly. This can be helpful if you have a doctor’s office or if your landlord is opposed to having a fish or another type of animal in your apartment.

There are two ways you can get an ESA letter for a fish. The first method is to go online and use a reputable service like US Service Animals. Head over to our ESA registration page and follow the steps below:

  1. Submit information about your fish, including the tank, their weight, and the breed.
  2. Submit information about yourself and your mental health disorder.
  3. Schedule a call with a licensed mental health professional.
  4. Speak with them about their condition to see if you can be approved.
  5. Wait for your ESA letter to arrive.

If you already have a licensed therapist with whom you work, you can also apply for an ESA letter from them. To do so, you’ll have to bring up your thoughts in a meeting and wait to see if they will approve.

Get an Emotional Support Fish Today!

Emotional support fish offer several benefits for the people who need them. They can help you manage your loneliness, reduce your anxiety, and even improve mental health disorders like anxiety or depression. While it’s not hard to get a fish from a pet store, make sure you have the proper paperwork from a licensed mental health professional before you consider getting an emotional support fish or before you claim that you have one for your health. Failing to have an ESA letter when a landlord requests it can result in your eviction and legal fines for lying about the status of your dog.