5 Benefits of Reptiles as Emotional Support Animals
Many people are familiar with the concept of emotional support animals, but did you know that any animal can be recognized as an emotional support animal, not only dogs and cats?
Emotional support animals, often abbreviated ‘ESA’, are animals that live with their owners with the sole purpose of bringing emotional comfort to alleviate stress and bring companionship.
Unlike service animals, which, according to US law, can only be task-trained dogs and miniature horses, emotional support animals can be any species of animal.
Here are the benefits of choosing a reptile as your emotional support animal!
Lower MaintenanceReptiles require less care than a dog or a cat since they do not require grooming or need to be let outside to go to the bathroom.
Small Space FriendlyReptiles do not require large rooms or a fenced in backyard to be happy. In fact, a majority of the most commonly kept reptiles such as bearded dragons and ball pythons are happy in a 4x2x2 enclosure!
Less ExpensiveReptiles are generally cheaper to feed than a dog or a cat due to their less frequent meal schedule and smaller size. Although they may need checkups with an exotic veterinarian, reptiles do not require costly yearly vaccinations or frequent grooming, which results in an overall lower cost to own.
Less demandingUnlike a dog or a cat, reptiles do not require frequent attention and handling to be happy. This is great for people who may be in school or those who work long hours.
Peaceful to Watch and Care ForWatching your pet reptile interact with their environment can be calming, and tending to their terrarium can provide a sense of control.
Emotional support animals do not have public access rights like service dogs, but are eligible to live in non-pet friendly housing with a doctor’s letter. If you think you may benefit from an emotional support animal, do not fall victim to online emotional support animal scams and registries. Talk to your doctor about how an emotional support animal may benefit you!
If you are looking for a more information and care advice about reptiles, check out our "Zenformation" care sheets and articles!