How Emotional Support Animals Affect Human Mental Health

Sep 17, 2022 | Cats, Dogs, Emotional Support Animals, ESA Certificate Reviews, Housing, Mental Health

Animals can have a huge impact on our mental well-being. They are not just cute, cuddly creatures we enjoy spending time with. Pet lovers often refer to their cat or dog as a member of their family. They help us feel better when they are around, both physically and emotionally.

Many studies have shown, for example, that cats have purposely domesticated and befriended humans for a mutually beneficial relationship. Today, many scientific studies continue to document such positive effects. Such effects have helped to establish various connections between the role of pets as Emotional Support Animals and human psychological health. Let’s take a look at some of them.



Emotional Support Pets help us feel loved

They can increase levels of dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. These hormones make a person feel good or happy. Oxytocin, for example, is often called the “love hormone.” It promotes bonding with other people, including our children. When pets and people look at or interact with each other, both experience a surge of oxytocin.



Emotional Support Animals help us feel less alone

Pets are good human companions. They can make us feel loved and accepted no matter what. No matter what stage of life you are in, animals really want to love you and be loved in return. They don’t care how much money you have, where you live or what you do. They just love you.

Love and the need to be loved is a basic and basic human instinct. Emotional Support Animals give endless amounts of love to help combat stress, loneliness, sadness and other negative emotions.



People can talk, touch and cuddle with their Emotional Support Animals

This is one of the reasons why so many people have animals. Emotional Support Animals promote mental health and well-being. This is especially seen during difficult times in a person’s life. Evidence-based guidelines and relevant resources will help people on their journey to understanding the relationship between pets and mental health.



Emotional Support Animals can help lower blood pressure

Decades of research have found a correlation between lowering blood pressure and having pets. For example, petting dogs can help lower heart rate and blood pressure. Lower blood pressure is more common among owners of Emotional Support Pets compared to those who don’t have them. This was independent of what body mass index and socioeconomic status they had.

The study also found lower levels of high blood pressure. Other studies have shown that pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Heart attack patients live longer if they have a furry friend at home. Therefore, having Emotional Support Pets can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.



Emotional Support Pets Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Pets help people worry less, which is beneficial for stress and anxiety levels. Interactions with animals can lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Growing up with an Emotional Support Dog is associated with lower levels of childhood anxiety. They also help stressed university students.



Emotional Support Animals Encourage People to Go Outdoors

Some animals, such as dogs, need constant walks outdoors. If you have an Emotional Support Dog, you are more likely to get out of the house into the fresh air.

This can be especially helpful for people who suffer from certain mental illnesses. For some people, having a pet can be the deciding factor between staying home in isolation and going outside with their pet.



Emotional Support Pets Make Us Exercise More

Some pets, like dogs, require regular exercise, which means you can exercise more as a result, too.

Dog owners walk an average of 20 minutes more per day than non-dog owners. Exercise itself can be very beneficial to mental health. Even a short walk around the block reduces anxiety, depression and negative moods.



Emotional Support Animals can reduce feelings of depression

Dogs and horses help reduce feelings of depression, which is why many therapists and psychiatrists sometimes use them as part of therapy.



Emotional Support Animals can help reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder

Dogs-especially service dogs-are often prescribed for veterans with PTSD because studies have shown that they are a very helpful part of recovery.

Service dogs can help alleviate PTSD symptoms in veterans by reducing depression, increasing resilience, reducing loneliness and improving overall psychological well-being. Dogs reduce feelings of loneliness, anxiety and irritability.



Emotional Support Animals help take care of us

Service dogs can also help people cope with mental or medical conditions by performing certain tasks.

People with service dogs know that their dog will alert them to attacks. This relieves a person of a tremendous amount of stress because they can feel more confident that their friend is looking out for them.



Emotional Support Animals help us feel happy

Owners of Emotional Support Pets were more satisfied with their lives than those who did not have these animals.



The Best Kind of Emotional Support Animals for Mental Health

Animals of all types can help people find companionship, comfort and a sense of routine. Is one animal better than another for promoting mental health?

Cats can be more independent, while dogs tend to be eager to please and are pack animals. But a greater sense of reward may be due to the fact that they require more responsibility.

For some people, that extra responsibility may be too much. Especially if you have physical limitations that slow down or prevent you from giving your dogs the care and exercise they need.

In this case, it is better to get an Emotional Support Animal that does not require much care, such as a cat.

Whatever animal a person feels connected to will be the best animal for them. For some people it is dogs, cats, birds, and for others it is horses or lizards.

We have looked at the many physiological and psychological benefits of bonding with Emotional Support Animals. Now it’s easy to find the animal that’s best for you, calms you down and rejuvenates you.


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