WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE GETTING AN ESA // Emotional Support Dog Training + More 🐶

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hello friends step here helping you live

well see you can it change your life and

I have a special little guest with me


this is Oakley the Cavalier wiki who

also happens to be my emotional support

you're really antsy let's get a drink

yeah you know so today we're going to

talk about what to expect if you're

getting an emotional support animal

because there's a little bit of

confusion I think with PSAs where people

aren't totally sure what all is required

so I just want us to kind of dive into a

couple of things I wish I would have

known before getting this little guy

okay we actually got Oakley last

September if you're new to my channel I

have some chronic health issues and so

it's going to a really really hard time

was almost hospitalized and the worst

moments for me were at night when Sam

was usually sleeping so I was just in

like a really really bad place and it

was just like really isolating and my

therapist suggested at the time looking

into getting an esa and so I had already

done some research and knew what breed I

wanted and so

Dobin and we got him it's just been a

really fun little adventure ever since

we decided to grow our little family and

add a furry friend this was our first

dog ever having to take care of totally

on our own and I really think there's a

difference between just giving a dog

because you want to get a dog and

specifically getting an ESA I think they

can totally serve the same purpose but

the intention behind it is different and

so these are just a few things that

we've learned in our time with Oakland

dogs are so much easier than puppies so

obviously every situation is going to be

different there's no way I can speak

personally to every circumstance but we

got this little dude at 8 weeks old we

live on the 3rd floor of our apartment

and if you didn't know one day or that

little they have to go out every hour

having health issues it's not super

ideal and thankfully you know I'm

married I have Sam so he was really able

to help out with that a lot but I

probably wouldn't do it again at least

until we were to have a house and I can

just open the door and just let let him

out in the back yard I mean there's so

much more that goes into that like

feeding them training them I mean they

don't know anything they're just little

sponges and so it's really kind of your

job to help them learn everything and so

depending on the severity of your

illness or your disability it just may

not be super feasible to start with a

puppy we actually did try to rescue

first there are lots of breed specific

rescues because we just knew a Cavalier

was going to be the best temperament for

me just being very relaxed and kind of

needing a dog that was not going to be

high-energy but there were a lot of


most of them being needed to have a

fenced yard so we just weren't I'm able

to find an adult's rescue at the time

that we needed one you know and we

totally did it

we did the puppy thing we trained and

you know obviously I love him like he's

my child but it could just be something

to consider based on your circumstances

so the second thing to be aware of is

that you do not need any sort of

certification to have an ESA an ESA is

not the same thing as a service dog or a

therapy dog that requires a whole

different set of training and tests all

you need to have an ESA is a written

note from your therapist or your

physician this will allow you to be able

to live in a place that may not normally

allow animals or pets and you are able

to fly with your ESA as well it's really

the only difference or special

circumstance that having an ESA well do

you still can't take them in public

places like you would a service dog so

just something to be aware of there are

a lot of websites out there where you

have to pay money to get a letter or to

get your dog certified and you

definitely don't need to do that I think

it could be helpful to have the best we

may look into it if we ever fly with him

but it's not really something we do

often oh and the letter needs to be

renewed every year alright here's the

thing breed matters but it's also not

everything so a lot of people have very

strong feelings about hashtag adopt

don't shop and you're just a terrible

person if you buy from a breeder here's

the thing with that though I think it's

six out of every ten dogs that are

adopted get returned back to the pound

or the Humane Society and so that's not

really serving anybody so I think it's

far more important to do your research

figure out what breed is compatible with

your lifestyle

because I always thought

wanted a border collie because they're

beautiful dogs and then we dog that one

one time and I was like wow this is just

not for me just doesn't match my

lifestyle I I would hate having this dog

and so I think if you can find a breed

that is compatible with your lifestyle

you know primarily kind of its energy

levels I think that's gonna help you

through the time so they do chew up your

shoes and do things that make you want

to scream right because at the end of

the day you still love this dog and it's

your family and it's generally you know

you're happy that you've got your ESA

but then within each breed every dog is

different no two dogs they're gonna be

the same I fell in love with Cavaliers

because my roommate had a cavalier ours

is very different than hers we have a

very rambunctious little guy but he is

still totally sweet and has a lot of the

same tendencies as debri it does so that

is just something I would really

encourage you to put time and research

into because you really don't want to go

through all this and then a months down

the road seriously be considering

getting rid of your dog you want to find

one that's just gonna be a great fit so

whether that's doing some breed research

we're hanging out at your local shelter

or Humane Society and really getting to

know a dog one-on-one I would encourage

you to do your research before you just

take the plunge so the fourth thing to

be aware of is that there's no formal

training for ESA s that doesn't mean you

can't train your ESA in the same way

that you would a therapy dog I actually

recommend it and we tried to do that but

the trainer we were seeing it just

didn't work out and it's very expensive

to do more of these advanced training

packages so it's just not something

we're doing right at the second

so he's actually mostly self trained we

just did Zack George we have his book

which I'll link below and we mostly just

watched his YouTube videos and honestly

I feel like we got more out of that than

to the trainer we went to but that kind

of brings me to my next point is just

having a training plan because I think I

thought that I would just get a dog and

ESA and they would be perfect and if I

had an anxiety attack they would know

exactly how to respond but that is not

the case especially because we got him

so young and so if you can I would

recommend looking into therapy dog

training specifically or just really

teaching them impulse control and I

think that'll be really helpful for if

you are kind of particularly going

through like a flare or anxiety attacks

or something like that then you can just

tell them to settle settle down and

they'll just do that yeah I know it to

do but really even not having like 5


training I was just doing it with him

you know dogs are really intuitive

they're more intelligent than any other

animal that exists in reading human

behavior so they know when you're going

through a bad day or a flair or whatever

and I start crying but if I talked about

it for too long but there have been like

countless nights where I've just woken

up in the middle of the night just

feeling sick or anxious or whatever you

know I don't want to wake Sam up and so

just having him there to just be on the

couch next to me or just to hold him

honestly like can't put into words what

that has been like for me and how much

it's just improved my loneliness and

feeling scared and you know all that

stuff they're really hard work but it's

so worth it I would never give him back

in a heartbeat


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