What animal can be an emotional support animal? The answer is any animal! An emotional support animal does not need to be formally trained. My son, Matthew, has a pet guinea pig as an emotional support animal. His name is Arlo. He is the sweetest guinea pig! He loves to snuggle and give kisses. He loves to be spoiled rotten. He loves to play with our cats and dog. He just thinks he is part of the gang!
As a family, we enjoy Alro as well. We have his cage in our living room, so he can be a member of the family. We love to hear him squeak (I mean talk) as he is telling us a story or demanding a carrot when someone opens the refrigerator. We love to squeak back to him just to have him get louder and squeak back. One little guinea pig can say so much. But it is really about the stories Matthew has to tell about his favorite buddy. He loves to tell us how Arlo is chasing the cats around or how he is kissing the dog (Faith).
Matthew loves to put Arlo on his lap and snuggle him. He loves to see him yawn. If you pet under Arlo’s chin, he smiles (shows his teeth in otter delight). If Matthew is feeling stressed, we encourage him to take Arlo out and play or snuggle with him.
We use Arlo as a strategy for Matthew. He helps calm Matthew down sometimes. If you choose an animal for your child (for any purpose), make sure you know the lineage of the pet. Whether it is a dog, cat, or guinea pig find a reputable breeder who can tell you about the personality and temperament of the parents. It will save a lot of headaches in the long run. We found a local 4-H guinea pig breeder in town. We paid about $20 more then buying a pet store, but we knew Arlo should be a good fit. We knew his parents were award-winning show pigs who were sweet. Arlo follows suit. He is sweet and very smart. Know what you are buying, and your child could have a favorite pet of their own!