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Emotional Support Animal Benefits

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

Emotional support animals
Experience the benefits of having an emotional support animal

Animals have an uncanny ability to bring love, peace, and joy, even on bad days. Animals help reduce anxiety, stress, and blood pressure, but they may also help you stay physically healthy.

If you're having trouble deciding if you should get a pet for better mental health, consider the following questions:

  • Is your home environment a good place for a pet?

  • Are you able to afford a pet?

  • Do you and your family members have the time to care for it?

  • Are you open to the unique challenges pet ownership may bring (i.e., time constraints, financial costs, medical emergencies, etc.)?

  • Is your lifestyle equipped to care for a pet?

If you answered "yes "to the questions above or are willing to make some changes, you may be ready for a new furry friend.

pets as therapy
Benefits of havig and Emotional Support Animal

Pets improve Your Mental Health.

Aside from the unconditional love given to and received from a pet, the emotional support animal benefits of pet ownership start with improved mental well-being. That's true for younger people, older adults, people with disabilities (including Autism and Alzheimer's), and more. Pet ownership isn't just for patients; pets can also improve the lives of healthcare workers.

According to the CDC, companion animals improve humans' mental and emotional well-being. That means that pet owners tend to suffer less from conditions like:

  • Stress

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • PTSD

The benefits of pet ownership don't stop there. Individuals who own pets tend to experience more fulfilling social interactions, better social support, and many other ancillary benefits.

Pets May Improve Your Physical Health

In many ways, the mental and physical health benefits of owning a pet overlap. For example, pet ownership may decrease cortisol levels, resting heart rate, and more. Which, in turn, may reduce the likelihood of heart attacks and heart disease. That's just the beginning.

A few more notable physical health benefits of owning a pet may include:

  • Reduced blood pressure and hypertension (especially for dog and cat owners)

  • Boosted immune system — just petting an animal can help with this

  • Lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (particularly for dog owners)

  • Increased physical activity

  • Better cardiovascular health

Higher levels of oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin result in feelings of euphoria. Generally, the best pets that help humans reduce stress include:

  • Dogs

  • Cats

  • Horses

  • Guinea pigs

  • Hamsters

  • Fish

  • Turtles

  • Birds

Emotional support animal
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