5 Unconventional Types of Emotional Support Animals

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding emotional support animals, one of the most common being that they are all dogs. This really couldn't be further from the truth. There are all kinds of ESAs out there, and some will probably surprise you. In honor of that, we'll take you through some of the most thrilling examples! But first, let's start with the basics.

Why Would Someone Need an Emotional Support Animal?

There isn't one single prescriptive reason why someone may need an emotional support animal. The only objective criterion is that a licensed medical professional approves it. You can find a wealth of information at esaregistration.org, but emotional support animals are often used to alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety, or PTSD, among many others.

How they achieve this is mainly specific to the individual. What is also highly specific is the kind of animal they choose. As we mentioned before, there's a lot of variety, so let's walk you through some of the most unusual!

1. Chickens

We're starting strong. Chickens make fantastic companions due to their affectionate and individual personalities. They're also incredibly low-maintenance to care for, which means they won't add any pressure to the lifestyle of their owners. It's a win-win!

2. Llamas

Our personal favorite – yes, llamas really can be used as emotional support animals. Sure, they're much larger than other options, and you might have difficulty convincing your landlord to let them into your home. However, they are naturally gentle and friendly. A llama could be a perfect choice if you have ample outdoor space for them to enjoy.

3. Pigs

Research has already demonstrated that pigs are just as smart, if not smarter, than dogs. They have even been shown to be as bright as three-year-old children! This makes them excellent support animals. They are also highly social and very capable of making their feelings known with their adept communication skills.

4. Parrots

Speaking of animals with adept communication skills, it's time to talk about parrots. Parrots throwing out obscure phrases has been used for comedy, but they can also offer much-needed reassurance and companionship. In fact, some research has shown that parrots can actually respond to the emotional state of their owners.

5. Rabbits

It's almost impossible not to feel endeared to these cute, floppy-eared animals. The way they hop around is endlessly charming, and they have some of the softest furs of any domesticated pet. The only downside? These furry friends require more upkeep than many other emotional support animals, but some owners find that this gives them purpose. This can be a huge help when navigating depression.

It Isn't All About Dogs!

Although they've established themselves as humanity's best friend, dogs aren't the only animals in the world of emotional support animals. There is a ton of diversity out there, and although you might have a more challenging time getting a llama onto your flight, there's no doubt that all ESAs provide much-needed relief for their respective owners.