5 Benefits of Having an Emotional Support Animal

By Jamie Hill - 11 December 2019

Health

Anyone who has a pet can attest to the fact that they bring endless joy each day. They have the ability to melt anyone’s heart, and they can offer unconditional love more than you could have ever imagined. Which isn’t really surprising how many healthcare professional these days recommend getting a pet or an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) to help bring serenity to a person’s life. Numerous studies have shown that having an ESA will allow you to reap a ton of benefits.

If you’re considering getting one, we’ve gathered 5 of these benefits that may help in tipping the scales. 

What is an emotional support animal? 

An ESA is not really a pet, but it’s a companion pet that offers help to anyone with a disability. What differentiates them from a pet is that their purpose is to help alleviate some of the emotional and mental symptoms one has due to a certain disability. They give you support and help you overcome any overbearing issue. They’re also different than service animals as service animals are trained to work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. An ESA is only there to offer love, support, and companionship; they’re not officially trained to become an ESA. 

 

Regardless, there’s still a screening process that needs to be commenced if you ever decide on getting your own ESA pet. When looking for emotional support animals, consider checking establishments that will guide you through the screening process, assess your situation, and determine if you qualify for one. They will also give you a licensed letter from a therapist claiming your eligibility for owning an ESA pet. This letter can help you take your ESA anywhere you’d like.  

 

Since they’re known to offer a myriad of emotional and mental health benefits to their owners, here are the top 5 benefits that any ESA companion can bring you: 

They offer great companionship  

Because these beautiful creatures are great companions, they can alleviate any isolation or seclusion drawbacks you’re facing. Sometimes we need that special companion to help us through anything; as such, many people like taking their ESA companion with them as they travel if they’re afraid of getting on planes. Building a relationship with your pet can actually help heal these feelings of fear and loneliness. Your ESA pet can also encourage you to interact with other pet owners if you have a dog, for example. You’ll meet people in the park, or anywhere, and this will lessen the feeling of loneliness. 

 

They alleviate anxiety and stress 

Having an ESA pet will help reduce your anxiety and stress. By offering comfort, they will be able to alleviate any anxieties and panic attacks. Sitting with your ESA pet for a few minutes and petting them can drastically calm you down and bring you a sense of relief. They’re also great stress-relievers; if you’re having a bad day or you’re overwhelmed, your ESA pet can offer you comfort when you spend time with them, play a few tricks, and just enjoying their company. They help you wash away all your troubles by allowing you to take care of them. 

They help prevent physical ailments 

Often at times, ESA pets are considered to also keep physical ailments at bay. Because they reduce anxiety and stress as mentioned above, they can also reduce risks of high blood pressure. Also, if you decide to get a dog, for example, they will encourage you to lead an active lifestyle. You’ll be taking them for walks, spending time outdoors, and meeting different people. This alone can prevent a number of diseases that come from a stagnant lifestyle like heart disease and cholesterol.

They support trauma and mental health  

Originally, ESA pets were often recommended by therapists and psychiatrists to help alleviate severe trauma symptoms and other mental health issues like depression. ESA pets are considered your own little antidepressant; their love helps release serotonin in the body, thus alleviating some depression symptoms. A few minutes of petting or cuddling your ESA pet will also relieve some of the sadness you feel. If you suffer from trauma or PTSD, they can also help you deal with this difficult time by offering you a silver lining, a distraction, and a better way to cope. 

They give you a sense of purpose 

Because these furry, adorable creatures offers unconditional love and you reciprocate it back, it creates a wonderful bond that is unmatched by anything else. When you care for a furry friend, you’ll start developing a new purpose in life; you’ll look forward to seeing them each day, you can’t imagine your life without them, and you’ll become dependable on their love. All in a healthy way of course. 

Having an emotional support animal is extremely rewarding emotionally and mentally; they provide a myriad of benefits that anyone can enjoy, from unconditional love to support a mental disability, all the way to enhancing your emotional health. An emotional support animal is definitely the way to go if you’re looking for a wonderful companion. 

 

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