In most cases, Depression is hard to notice. Sometimes people often misunderstand it to be anger or anxiety. Even the fatigue from the depression is thought to be stress or being sick.
Based on the data provided by National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), around 17.7 million people (which sums up for 7.2% population) in the United States have a massive depression at least once in their lifetime. Depression is also included as the major risk factor for suicide and is the second-highest cause of death in people having an age between 10 – 34 years.
Recognizing depression is one step, whereas, treatment for depression is another step that involves even more effort. However, it is possible to treat even the worst cases of depression. Based on the severity of the condition, treatment might include therapy or medication and sometimes both. Changes in lifestyle such as exercise, meditation, stress reduction techniques, etc., might be able to help the individual avoid depression.
ESA (Emotional Support Animal):
Emotional support animals are considered as the best way to overcome the symptoms of depression as depression causes isolation and loneliness more often. This therapy including animals, which is also known as ‘pet therapy’ is also accepted by the Anxiety and Depression Association.
Most studies indicate that spending time with an animal improves the mental health of a person. Especially when it comes to emotional support animals (ESA), a pet animal might be more effective. Not only pets are a companion, but they are also an excellent treatment for emotional therapy. When we are talking about disorders such as depression, owning an ESA could make a difference in a person’s life and even be able to save them.
Before you have an ESA, it is better to know whether or not you are qualified to have an emotional support animal. First of all, you must know whether or not you are suffering from a mental or emotional problem.
Next, you must check whether or not you feel happy when you are around animals because some people might be afraid of them. Finally, you must discuss this with an LMHP in order to check that you qualify for an ESA letter depending on their professional judgment.
5 best ESA dog breeds:
Anyhow, we must say that dogs have always been a man’s best friend, and taking a look at human history they have been playing a very crucial role. As that has been discussed, let us now have a look at the five of the best dog breeds that have a high impact on treating the conditions of depression. So, without wasting any more time, let us know which breeds are considered to be the best emotional support dog breeds, especially for depression.
1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:
it has big and dark eyes that stare into the owner’s eyes with a lot of love, and soft & fluffy ears that move a lot while they run towards you. the body size is also compact which makes them look adorable. Even keeping the physical appearance aside, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are very affectionate towards their owners.
They can easily learn how to appeal to your better nature, have a high grasping power and enjoy being cuddled by you. Neither do they have territorial behavior, nor they have problems coping with other dog breeds, all of which are excellent traits for a perfect ESA.
Even though their cuteness is beyond limits, a person would have to be willing to deal with the aspects that aren’t rather advantageous. Specifically, the grooming for these can be very expensive and the long fur requires regular care and maintenance. The cost of grooming is the price that a person has to pay for having these adorable creatures.
Moreover, they even cuddle their owners who are showing signs of depression.
Despite being fluffy or cute like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Vizsla is a breed that does not require any sort of grooming or maintenance. Vizsla is known to exhibit cat-like behavior when it comes to grooming habits and calls for very minimal grooming as they keep themselves clean.
Dogs belonging to this breed also get attached to the owner and try to spend most of their time with them. This makes them an ideal companion for people suffering from depression. Vizslas can react fast, considered smart, and could learn tricks very easily. These dogs don’t require to be trained for discipline as they are disciplined from the very beginning.
However, it should be noticed that Vizslas often need a lot of attention and are not suitable for people who cannot make enough time for them or spend a lot of time away from home.
Vizsla is a great ESA dog breed, especially for people who want to have constant companionship.
3. Shiba Inu:
If you aren’t able to provide constant attention for your dog, like what a Vizsla requires, a Shiba Inu might be considered the best choice for you. Shiba Inu are often independent and try to keep themselves entertained without needing anyone else.
Their tricks and activities make the family members get amused and feel happy. Being silly is the aspect of this breed that brings happiness to the lives of people dealing with depression. They are also known to be very loyal to their owners and don’t require a lot of effort from the owners for their maintenance.
Shiba Inu brings a lot of fun and attraction to the surrounding that they are a part of. However, people who want a highly obedient dog might not want to have a Shiba Inu. The streak of independence can be fun for some people but not for all.
Known for loyalty and independence, a Shiba Inu adds happiness to the people in the environment where it lives.
4. Golden Retriever:
Known to be among the top friendliest dog breeds, the Golden retriever is a dog that nobody can hate. Apart from being very clever and athletic, Golden Retrievers are also known to make people laugh with their funny activities. Golden Retrievers can add color to a person’s life while being very obedient to them. They can be trained very easily as they have a high grasping power and are very enthusiastic. Adding to that, Golden Retrievers are mostly trained for the search and rescue dog teams as well as service dog teams.
They are also known to be skillful hunters, which makes them a perfect companion for hunting games and outdoor activities. Their devotion, affection, and obedience make them the best partner for depressed people who want to have an ESA.
Golden Retrievers are known to be the choice for most people who want to have an ESA dog breed that is good for treating depression.
5. Labrador Retriever:
Ranked by the American Kennel Club to be the ‘Most Popular Dog Breed’ in the United States, Labrador Retriever is a distant cousin of the Golden Retriever and is a very friendly dog breed. There are many reasons for a Labrador to become as famous as it is.
Some of the major reasons include their smartness, affectionate behavior, and manners. These dogs are also known to be very energetic and have an athletic body, which motivates the owners to enjoy outdoor activities. Being friendly as well as gentle, these dogs can be the perfect fit for people who have children. Labradors also love being among children and enjoy the attention acquired from them.
They are also protective and loyal, which makes it easy to train them. Just like the Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever is also a breed used for rescue and service dogs. They are the best fit for rescue and service activities because of their efficiency in taking the lead and their enthusiasm to please people. People who are suffering from depression can find a Labrador to be a gentle dog that supports them as an ESA.
Being smart, playful, and having good manners make Labrador Retrievers a perfect fit for people suffering from depression.
Choosing the right type of ESA dog breed:
Coming to choosing a dog as an emotional support animal, especially to treat depression, depends on key factors such as your ability to bond with the animal and your specific needs. Picking a dog that is suitable for your lifestyle, character, and emotional requirements might be a time-taking process. However, after selecting a perfect dog, it would be worthwhile and meaningful.
If you want to work along with a therapist with a valid license to qualify for an Emotional Support Animal, ESA Certificate can assist you in the process.