Home Effectiveness and Health Benefits of an Emotional Support Dog

Effectiveness and Health Benefits of an Emotional Support Dog

If you buy through links in this article, we may earn a commission. This policy helps support the website's operation. Learn more.

Girl friendly interacts with little Husky dog

Emotional support animals have become more and more popular in recent years, with dogs being the most popular form of emotional support animals. These animals are believed to provide a number of benefits for the people who are using them as an aid to help them manage their mental health problems.

In this article, we’re going to talk about how you can use an emotional support dog to enhance your mental health, and we’ll also outline some studies about the efficacy of these wonderful animals.

Related Reviews

How Do Emotional Support Dogs Work?

One thing to note is that an emotional support dog is not actually a service animal, though they do provide a service for their owner. Service animals are primarily used to help aid people by doing work or helping to perform tasks for people who struggle with some sort of disability – things like guiding blind people, helping move wheelchairs, etc.

Emotional support animals, on the other hand, aren’t necessarily tasked with performing work for people who are disabled. Instead, their task is to simply provide emotional support for people who are struggling with some sort of mental health issue.

This means that they are quite different than service animals in a number of ways:

  • They do not require any specific training to be an emotional support animal.
  • The value that they provide is a result of them simply spending time with and interacting with their owner.
  • The process by which emotional support animals are registered is quite different than that which service animals must be registered.
  • Pretty much any dog can become an emotional support animal given that the proper forms are filled out and approved.

As you can see, emotional support dogs are not too difficult to become a part of your life. But what are the benefits of using one of these animals?

Benefits of Emotional Support Dogs

There are a number of benefits that can be attributed to emotional support dogs, and they can be considered an asset for helping people with a wide range of different conditions. Some of the most prominent uses and benefits of emotional support dogs include:

  • Companionship. Whether or not an ESA is actually registered as such, many people find that they experience the benefit of companionship from their dog. This is especially true for people who are living alone, as this can help to prevent feelings of isolation from developing over the long-term.
  • Reducing stress. It is believed that spending time with emotional support animals can be a way to reduce stress, or to at least provide some sort of alternative to focus on besides your stress.
  • Reduce anxiety. Many people find that their anxiety is greatly reduced when they are with their emotional support dog. This is especially true for people who struggle with agoraphobia or social anxiety and have difficulty going out in public alone.
  • Reduced depression. Many people experience depression for a number of reasons, ranging from loneliness to past trauma. Emotional support dogs can help to reduce depression by providing companionship and joy while reducing anxiety and stress.

These are just some of the most commonly reported benefits of using emotional support animals.

In Conclusion

There’s no doubt that an emotional support animal could have a number of benefits for people struggling with a wide variety of mental health conditions. However, it can be a big decision trying to figure out whether or not you actually want an emotional support dog – especially if you’re unsure of the process by which you can do that.

If you’re on the fence or have further questions about emotional support dogs, read this guide. This will help to explain the process by which you can register an emotional support dog and let you know everything that you need to do so.


Max Gordon

Dr. Gordon has been a contributor to a range of pet media since his study at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He does not miss a chance to do in-depth research backed by his own examinations. Along with writing his own pieces, Dr. Gordon does fact-checking of the articles.

View all posts by Max Gordon | DogsRecommend.com