Kids Health

What Is The Best Emotional Support Animal For Kids?

Now, as you have clicked on the blog and are interested in reading this piece, we consider that you must have a basic idea about what actually an ESA is and how it can be beneficial for your kid? We can dig the right way to your interest, i.e., types of emotional support dogs that can be best for kids if we are right. 

However, there might be a case where some of you don’t even know what an emotional support animal is. No, worries we understand that ESA or emotional Support Animal is not that regular term you can hear every day. So, we can start by firstly explaining the term emotional support animal.

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

So, an emotional support animal is no different from regular pets. It’s the assistance that they offer that makes them a little extraordinary from other animals. 

An emotional support animal is a pet that can reduce the symptoms of mental disorders with its emotional support. Their love, care, affection, and mere presence can serve you emotionally. 

That’s a common misconception that a child is too young to suffer from mental illness. Like what they have to worry about? However, the results are disappointing as per stats collected by the CDC (Center of Disease Control and Prevention) from surveys, like the National Survey of Children’s Health. Here is data from a few of these surveys:

  • Almost 3.2% of kids aged 3to 17 years suffer from depression.
  • About 7.1% of kids aged 3 to 17 years suffer from anxiety
  • Around 9.4% of kids aged 2-17 years suffer from Attention-Deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

As you can see, these stats are pretty surprising. Other than anxiety, ADHD, depression, a toddler can be a victim of autism, eating disorders, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc. 

To understand how an ESA comes into this picture? Keep reading to grasp this wholly.

How can emotional support animals be beneficial for kids?

We have summed up some of the benefits of adopting an ESA for your toddler that is, in turn, so helpful for your child’s mental health. These are:

  • An ESA will always be there in your home, even when you will be busy and won’t be able to spend time with your kids. Hence, a child is less likely to feel lonely.
  • Petting an emotional support animal will relax your kids and elevate their mood, which in turn can reduce anxiety.
  • An ESA can comfort your child who is suffering from trauma or cannot get over a traumatic incident that occurred in the past.
  • Mostly a depressed child doesn’t want to open about their feelings, but an ESA can sense this. With their presence, they can calm children and won’t leave them.
  • Petting a pet is a task of great responsibility. Seeing you looking after a pet will teach the responsibility quality to your child too.
  • Kids who grow up with animals usually have a better immune system, and that’s why they are less prone to allergies.
  • Kids find it easy to socialize with the other kids while going out to parks or children’s parties with a pet by their side.
  • Walking with an ESA dog, playing with an ESA pet will keep your child physically fit. Hence, in turn, this will keep their blood pressure, respiration rates, and blood sugar levels normal.
  • An emotional support animal will teach qualities like love, empathy, care, patience, etc., to your kid to make them better human beings.

What are the best emotional support animals for kids?

Did you know you can put almost any animal as an emotional support animal? However, the question is which animal can be best to be an emotional support animal for your kid. We have carefully selected a list of a few animals that can be best for your toddler, which goes as:

Fishes:

Fishes are one of the most magnificent creatures, with beautiful colors and glittering scales on their body. Children love to watch them and pet them. However, it would be best to take special care by keeping fish jars or aquariums away from small kids. Considering, small children can break the glass and harm themselves and fish while trying to catch or hold fish, it’s better to keep the aquarium a little far from the children.

Goldfish is like having a monopoly on being the prime choice as a domestic fish. However, Betta fish are easier to raise than goldfish. You need to keep Betta fish in an aquarium with a minimum of two gallons of water between temperatures ranging from 24 and 28°C. Your kid can help you check the temperature and feed fish food to the fish.

Birds:

Now, birds can be of many types, like cockatoos, parrots, and cockatiels. Parrots are a less costly and good choice if you own a pet for your kid for the first time.

Finches don’t require much interaction and are easy to care for, so you can choose a finch too. Kids like the chirping of birds and find them immensely charming. We suggest you bring a bird as they are very social, so they will quickly bond with your kid. 

Rabbit:

A rabbit has a longer lifespan than most pets. They can live up to eight to twelve years if given a healthy diet and cared for properly. They are so soft and easy to pamper. However, they are fragile and quickly get astonished by noise and sudden changes. In defense, they can jump or bite. That’s why you should teach your toddler to stay calm around them. For that very reason, they are the best emotional support animal for older children. 

Hamsters:

Hamsters are the cutest rodents ever. They are easy to care for and train. Although they can quickly get aggressive, that’s why out of other hamsters, only Syrian hamsters are suggested as they are friendly pets. You can keep the hamster in a cage, but don’t forget to clean it from time to time. 

Hamsters are best for teens who like to spend time alone in their room as a hamster friend will always be there for them to accompany. However, the life span of a hamster is not more than three years. 

Guinea pigs:

Like hamsters, guinea pigs can easily carry them anywhere; you can keep them even in your pocket. They like to be petted and cared for by humans. On average, a guinea pig lives from five to seven years. They will leave you in fascination with their cute little habits. When your child carries a guinea pig in the palm and moves fingers over its body, it will make sweet noises, ensuring that it loves all the caressing. Just like hamsters, they are easy to teach fun tricks like running and jumping. That’s why kids love them.  

Tortoises:

Turtles and tortoises are tiny and easy to raise as their diet is very simple, mainly consisting of vegetables. However, it’s best to ask a vet about their dietary requirements. Greek tortoises are best for kids as they don’t grow more than eight inches and can be kept in small wooden containers. Being very slow, they have minimal risk of getting lost and running away. Out of all the pets, they hold a place in longest living pets, which is not less than twenty years. So, you no need to worry about their age, and that fear of losing them won’t disturb your child. 

Cats:

Although cats are super lazy and sleep up to 15 hours or more a day, they are playful social, and patient. They are not as attention seekers, dependent as dogs, and that’s why they require less commitment. It could be beneficial as petting a pet, and a small child in the house won’t be that troublesome for you. 

The best emotional support cats are the Bengal cat, Burmese, Himalayan cat, Maine coon, Manx, and many more. 

Dog:

Dogs are a well-known and typical pet choice worldwide. As per 2019-2020, APPA Survey almost 50 Percentage of the U.S. population owns a dog. Due to their loving, cuddly, and playful nature; No wonder most parents consider dogs as their child’s siblings and love them like their own child. If you are looking for the best emotional support dogs, you can adopt almost any dog. Although the kid’s suitable emotional support dog breeds don’t contain violent and aggressive breeds. The kid-friendly best dogs for anxiety are;

  • Golden Retriever,
  • Saint Bernard,
  • Labrador Retriever,
  • Pugs
  • Beagle,
  • Boxers and the list goes on and on.

How to certify a pet as an Emotional Support Animal?

Have you ever heard of certifying your pet or ESA registration? So, long story short, a pet can be ESA only if you certify them. Now, a state-licensed health professional has the authority to approve a pet with a legitimate ESA letter. Beware of bogus sites on the internet; in our opinion, you can choose The Fast ESA letter; the platform is trustable and legal. They have a simple three-step online process to certify pets online at the comfort of your home. The process goes as:

  • Apply Online and fill out the form: Go on the website and click on the apply online button. You will reach a simple form. Fill up the simple form by filling up the residential and medical details of the patient. Don’t forget to mention the pet’s basic information that you want to certify for your child.
  • Get evaluated by state-licensed health professionals: A state-licensed health professional will assess the ESA application.
  • Receive your ESA Letter: If the health professional finds the need to have an ESA genuine, then they will approve the application and send you an ESA letter via email.

It is necessary to have proof that your pet is an emotional support animal. An ESA letter is that confirmation and can give you multiple benefits as per federal ESA laws. With a legitimate ESA letter, you can keep an ESA in your rental apartment even if your landlord follows no pet policy. This ESA letter will also save you from paying extra pet fees too. 

Conclusion:

You can see many dog and cat videos with kids, how they play with them and how kids like to spend time with them. That’s the reason why almost sixty-two percent of Americans decided to bring a pet to their home. Now, the emotional assistance they offer is just a win-win position which is even supported by a study carried by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. So, what are you waiting for? Go and adopt one for your child too. Also, don’t forget to have an ESA letter for the same!

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