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Health Benefits of Having a Emotional Support Animal.

Updated on May 10, 2023 by Patricia Thompson
With the change in time and day-to-day life, many people suffer from severe mental health concerns affecting their lives. Mental health issues get to turn into mental illnesses when continuous signs and symptoms cause constant stress and start affecting function.

Stress can cause to any person and may come out in many ways. Nowadays, there are many reasons for having anxiety, like personal or professional. Dealing with daily stress can affect an individual mental as well as physical health too. Those who are living alone might get worse problems like sudden depression and permanent disorders.

Sometimes, while suffering from all such issues, it is hard to get over your emotions even by consuming medicinal treatments. Still, from recent studies, it has been found that people can overcome their mental health disorders by owning a pet animal. The unconditional love of a pet is much more beneficial than any person’s company. In addition, pets can reduce any health complications such as stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental issues.

Health Benefits of Having a Emotional Support Animal.

Any Pet Can Improve Your Health

Well, people with pets are indeed much healthier and happy than those without pets. They act as mood boosters to their owners and the surrounding people. You can get love from any of your pets, whether it’s a cat, dog, bird, monkey, fish, lizard, or anything. It’s not necessary that you can get joy and love by keeping dogs or cats. Even touching, looking, and cuddling with your pets can reduce your stress level. Recent studies have shown that:

  • Those suffering from high-stress levels must keep a fish as a pet as watching a fish for 5-10 minutes can reduce your stress level by up to 12%.
  • Pet owners do not suffer from depression like those without pets.
  • People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets.
  • Playing and cuddling with pets like dogs and cats can elevate the symptoms of serotonin and dopamine and provide relaxation.
  • Pet owners have a low cholesterol level and are less likely to fall for heart disease.
  • Those who suffer from heart attacks survive longer than others without pets.
  • Also, pet owners over the age of 65 make fewer visits to their physicians than those without pets.

Not only that, but the criminals in prison show long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with pets. People who live alone can find animals as better companions. Stroking, hugging, or touching a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe you when you’re stressed or anxious.

How Do Emotional Support Animals Benefit Mental Health?

The human-animal bond is far more potent and powerful. The positive correlation between pets and mental health is irrefutable. Many scientific studies validate the mental health benefits of owning pets like a dog or cat. Animals help in alleviating depression, anxiety, and stress that a person suffers. Also, they provide companionship to ease loneliness. Not only that, but animals can bring us joy and unconditional love. Animals are good at providing love and care to us and also help us in making our lifestyle healthy:

Increase in Exercise:

Pets can help you in indulging more in the exercises. You can take your dog for a walk, hike, or run and can reward a fit, healthy daily routine into your schedule. Pet owners are more likely to meet their daily exercise requirements, and exercising every day is excellent for the animal. Also, it will help you to deepen the connection between you and your pet and keeps you fit and healthy.

Provide Companionship:

Companionship can help prevent the illness and add years to your life whereas, living alone can trigger the symptoms of depression. Caring for an animal can help make you feel needed and wanted and keep you more focused on your pet. Nothing can beat loneliness like coming home to a wagging tail or purring cat.

Help in Finding New People:

Pets act as social lubricants for their owners to start and maintain new friendships. Dog owners often begin talking to each other while taking them on walks, hikes, or in a dog park. Pet owners also meet new people in pet stores, clubs, and training classes.

Reduce Anxiety:

Companion animals offer comfort, help in easing anxiety, and build self-confidence for people anxious about going out into the world. Pets tend to live at the moment; they don’t worry about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow. As a result, they can help you become more mindful and appreciate the joy of the present.

Add Structure and Routine to Your Schedule:

Pets, like a dog, require a regular feeding and exercise schedule. Having a routine keeps an animal balanced and calm, and also it can work for you. No matter, whether your mood is depressed, anxiety, or stressed. A routine will ultimately let you get out of bed to feed, exercise, and care for them on time.

Owning a Pet Comes With Responsibilities

Yes, owning a pet is itself a big commitment. You need to take care of your pets and provide a healthy routine and healthy food. Keeping a pet is beneficial and comforting only for those who love domestic animals and have the time and money to keep a pet happy and healthy. Owning a pet include:
Cost and money: You will require money for food, veterinary care, licenses, grooming costs, toys, bedding, boarding fees, and other maintenance expenses that can mount up. It might be challenging to cope with unemployed people or people with fixed incomes.
Time and attention: Cats and dogs require a lot of time as well as attention from their owner. For example, most cats are attention seekers and love to cuddle with family members. Also, your dog will require daily care, attention, and daily exercise to stay calm and well-balanced.
Social activity: Interacting with your dog with friends and people are an essential part of keeping them as a pet. Therefore, it would be best if you took care that you visit trails, parks, hikes, and other dog-friendly places near you. Let them interact with people around you and your friends. By doing so, your pet will get closer to you.
Responsibility: Keeping a pet means a responsibility itself. Regardless of size and breed, dogs can inflict injury on people if not handled responsibly by their owners. Pet owners need to be alert to any danger, especially around children. Sometimes, even cats can scratch or bite. Make sure to avoid such situations.


Well, animals are an excellent source of care and companionship. Other than all such benefits of these animals. It’s also important to remember that a pet is not a miracle cure for mental health issues, but any stressed person can get relief from these pets. Creating responsible opportunities for human-animal interaction affects people’s lives. ESA is getting popular nowadays, from the past decade, and it can help any person get over their mental health issues.

About the Author

Patricia Thompson
Patricia Thompson
Patricia Thompson is a highly skilled clinical psychologist with over five years of expertise in the field. She possesses extensive knowledge and experience in using clinical guidance and providing recommendations for emotional support animals (ESAs) as a form of treatment for mental illness. Patricia's profound understanding of the therapeutic benefits of ESAs enables her to offer valuable insights and practical advice to individuals seeking emotional support. In addition to her clinical practice, Patricia also writes for Fast ESA Letter, sharing her expertise and advocating for the importance of ESAs in mental health care.


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