Pets aren’t just our best friends, they are also very beneficial to our health.
After just returning from a week-long ski trip, the one I found myself missing the most was my dog, Gunner. And with what seems to be a recent “trend” of ESA’s (emotional support animals), I wished I could have taken Gunner with me when I noticed a lady with a cat on the plane on my trip back home. Unfortunately, another passenger had to move seats due to her allergies. This caused me to think, where do we draw the line? Can any animal be a support animal?
It’s definitely not news that animal companionship provides many emotional benefits to humans. The bond between humans and animals has been proven to reduce depression and anxiety in humans. Caring for an animal can give people a greater sense of purpose and reduce loneliness, especially for the elderly. The American Heart Association has also linked pet ownership to reduced risk for heart attack.
Companion animals most often are dogs, but cats and other pets can be companion animals, also, as long as a person has a verifiable physical, emotional or mental disability and a medical professional has determined this to be true, as well as that the animal is in fact beneficial to this condition.
Gunner won’t be going on a ski trip with me anytime soon, but I still consider him my emotional support friend (Gunner featured in photo above).
I love animals of all shapes & sizes but when my spouse & I were looking at adding a new fur baby to our family he desperately wanted a German Shepherd and had a list of breeders his family had bought dogs from. He was all for buying from a breeder for many of the reasons listed on this website.
- A pedigree of three generations or more
- pedigree doesn’t mean a dog is good quality
- Titled Champions within the first two generations listed (parents or grandparents)
- Really?!?! This isn’t a show dog it’s a pet
- OFA certified hips and elbows (a score of “Good” or “Excellent” on both parents)
- Not all health certificates are accurate and many factors beyond heritage can affect joints.
- Eyes have been CERFed and free of genetic abnormalities
- All dogs get vet checked & try to make sure there are no genetic issues but they can and still happen
- A guarantee that your dog is free from inheritable diseases and conditions, with replacement (not exchange) or refund terms, should something happen.
- Who “replaces” their dog for getting ill it’s a part of life
- Right of first refusal should you need to relinquish the dog for any reason
- The shelter will take a dog back as well
- Care and grooming information
- A good, even temperament, usually well-matched to the family/home he is being placed into
- individual dogs vary, and personality can be hard to determine at a young age)
We looked for several months waiting for a German Shepard puppy to be available at a local shelter. Adopting was cheaper, we still met her mom and we know that her temperament and personality has a lot more to do with how we raise her then who her parents are. She may have health issues at some point in her life but who doesn’t we will love her no matter what. Isn’t that the point of getting a pet to be able to love and care for them unconditionally. Why intentionally contribute to the number of animals in the world when there are so many waiting to find homes. It was a long wait but so worth it, we pick her up tonight and I will update with pictures of our new fur baby.