When you think about emotional support animals, the animal that pops into your head is probably a dog or maybe a cat. They are not the only creatures that can provide a great deal of emotional support, though. While something like a grizzly bear isn’t going to work as an ESA, any type of domesticated animal may qualify. Because they do not require specific training, it is much easier for an animal to qualify. Dogs and cats are the most common options, but your ESA can be just about any type of pet.
Does that mean that rats can be emotional support animals? Absolutely! In fact, pet rats are perfectly suited for the job. Read below for reasons why a rat makes for a great emotional support animal.
1. Rats Are Highly Intelligent
Intelligence may not be the first thing you think of when you think about emotional support rats, but they are actually the smartest type of rodent. They also have a higher intelligence level than many other members of the animal kingdom. They can be trained to live neatly in your home and enjoy their own food instead of raiding your pantry. They can learn how to do tricks like rolling over, shaking hands, and even dancing. Rats can even be trained to use a designated potty much like a cat.
They quickly become familiar with their owners and form strong bonds with them. Which brings us to the next reason why rats are great emotional support animals…
2. They Are Extremely Social
An emotional support rat isn’t the type of pet that will want to spend its entire day hiding out in a cage. They are highly social, and they love spending time with their human companions. They love to cuddle and bond with their owners, and they quickly evolve from pets into best friends. Their loving nature helps alleviate feelings of loneliness, and they always seem to know how to bring a smile to someone’s face. This makes rats the perfect type of ESA!
Their intelligence and social nature also means that they love to play. Learning tricks, solving puzzles, playing with toys, and completing obstacle courses are just a few of a pet rat’s favorite pastimes. This provides endless entertainment for the rat and the owner alike, and it can really help cheer someone up when dealing with depression or anxiety.