What’s the Deal with Emotional Support Animals?

An emotional support animal (ESA) provides emotional support to people with mental health issues. They are animal companions that offer a benefit to someone with some form of disability. The animal provides companionship and gives support to the person to help alleviate an aspect of the disability.  

Dogs are most common in this role, but cats are also common. There are even some miniature horses that serve as emotional support animals.  

ESA’s can provide significant mental health benefits, and even just owning pets can have a positive effect on a person’s mental health. Pet owners connect emotionally to their pets and help people manage when they go through traumatic events.  

ESA’s also help people with anxiety. Petting their animals can cause people to relax and help elevate their mood. Emotional support animals are also known to improve physical health, as studies have shown that they can help lower blood pressure and improve people’s ability to handle pain.  

They also help with the feelings of care and love, as they give people a sense of purpose. The animals provide love and companionship, and they also need care in return. This simple give and take can be an emotional reward.