The Similarities and Differences Between Therapy Animals and Emotional Support Animals - 2021 Guide
Many people mix emotional support animals with therapy animals because they both help people suffering from ESA Letter mental issues. But there are some differences between both. Read below to know more about their similarities and differences.
Similarities of Therapy Animals and Emotional Support Animals
There are some similarities between therapy and emotional support animals. These are further discussed below:
- Owner’s Disabilities
Both types of animals are availed by people suffering from any mental, emotional, or psychological disorder. They do not help people with physical disabilities. They are not trained to do routine tasks for their owners.
- Similar Functions
Emotional support animals and therapy animals have some similar functions. The primary function of an ESA is to provide emotional or psychological support to its owners. They help relieve the symptoms or cope with the illness. This may not be the prime function of the therapy animals, but they also do this for their owners.
Having some similarities does not make them both similar. They both are different kinds of assistance animals.
Differences between Therapy Animals and Emotional Support Animals
The differences between therapy animals and emotional support animals are as follows:
The major function of emotional support animals is to provide relief and comfort to their owners. They do this naturally by playing or cuddling with them. Through this support, they may eventually contribute towards the better mental health of the owner.
On the other hand, the therapy animal’s primary function is to help in curing the patient. They assist the therapist. They can remind the patient to take the medications or perform other such functions. They are necessarily employed to reduce the symptoms of the patient. During this period, they may or may not provide emotional support to the owner.
Another difference between the both is that ESAs do not need to have special training. They are just trained as normal pets to live among humans without causing any damage or harm. The ESA letter does not require a training certificate.
The therapy animals are trained to perform their role. For instance, they are reminded about the medicinal routine of the patients. They could also be trained to detect the common symptoms of the owner and act accordingly.
The certification of ESAs and Therapy animals also vary. The therapy animal has to be authenticated by a psychiatrist involved in the treatment of the owner. The therapist trains the animal and verifies that the animal is being used for the therapy.
The certification of ESA is done through an emotional support animal letter. This letter is issued by a licensed mental health professional who is examins the owner and the animal. The professional may or may not be included in the treatment procedure. This is why you can also get an ESA letter online.
Another difference between both types of animals is regarding the housing laws. The housing of ESAs is regulated by Fair Housing Act (FHA). An ESA letter for housing should be issued by a licensed health professional, ensuring that the ESA can reside with its owner regardless of the place. Even an area that does not allow normal pets has to allow the residence of an ESA.
In the case of a therapy animal, the rules are different. The therapy animals can not live with their owners at all places. They can only live in the private properties of the owners if the rules of that area allow. Or, they can live with the owners if the landlords allow them. A no-pet housing society or area doesn’t need to allow therapy animals.
If you have understood the difference between therapy animals and emotional support animals, identify which type of animal you need. Get certified as an ESA owner through an emotional support dog letter if you feel at peace around your dog. Or, if you require help with your treatment, then go for a therapy animal.