A Path Towards Healing: The Different Types of Emotional Support Animals, Explained

By on June 7, 2021

A recent study reveals that as many as 50% of participating clinicians recommended emotional support animals to alleviate emotional disturbances.

We’re all aware of service dogs that assist people with things like blindness and epilepsy, but what are emotional support animals? Basically, they’re pets that people rely on for their emotional wellbeing.

These creatures don’t need any special training or certification, but they’re allowed to accompany their owners wherever they go. 

Find out more about these unique service animals here and how they help people with various issues. 

Emotional Support Animals for Anxiety

Dogs usually make the best emotional support animals, but many people choose cats, ponies, ferrets, and even snakes as their calming companions.

Studies show that animals have a soothing effect on people who suffer from anxiety. That’s because interacting with animals is a low-demand activity with no expectations on the part of the animal. 

Quiet interactions with non-judgmental animals can help quiet anxiety and create a sense of calm in people. 

Prison Pups

One of the most unusual uses for emotional support dogs takes place in the prison system. Inmates interact with pound puppies, teaching them the basic obedience skills that make them more adoptable. 

In return, the prisoners learn new skills and get to enjoy a sense of purpose. The inmates look forward to these instances as they provide a break from their usual routine.

What’s more, these dogs have a 70% adoption rate, compared to 40% for dogs trained by volunteers.

Animals Can Help You With Fear of Flying 

If you find that your pet helps keep you calm no matter what’s going on around you, they might help you cope with the fear of flying too. 

Yet, airplanes and buses aren’t required by law to admit ESAs unless you have an official letter stating that you need them for your mental wellbeing.

Do you want to take your emotional support animal on your travels without incurring any extra charges? Learn more about how to get an ESA letter.  

Emotional Support Animals for Depression

Pets love their masters no matter what transpires and provide calm companionship almost around the clock. This dedication can boost the self-esteem of those suffering from depression and help them face daily tasks with renewed confidence. 

What’s more, caring for a pet gives the depressed person a sense of responsibility for another living creature. Often, this is enough to help them get up and get going regardless of their state of mind.

Time spent playing with a pet, or exercising them helps boost dopamine levels in the brain. This neurotransmitter is a natural mood enhancer and triggers feelings of happiness. 

Support Animals Like They Support You

There’s no doubt that emotional support animals can do a lot to improve the well-being of their masters.

If you rely on your pet to help you feel calm and confident, you can register them as an emotional support animal. All you need is a letter from your clinician. 

So, if you’re looking for ways that you can give back to the animal kingdom, keep browsing our blog. We feature a wide range of articles centered on pet welfare and other interesting topics related to animals.

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