Best Emotional Support Animals – ESA

We have all heard the saying that the dogs are the man’s best friend. But did you ever wonder why is that so or did you witness any situations where dogs become one of the best emotional support animals?


Animals can be the best emotional therapy and while most people experience this without even realizing it – others are actually putting efforts into finding an animal they can adopt.


If you are only finding this right now – you are in the best place to do your research. Down below, you will not only find out how come animals are the best emotional support, but you will also find out what animals can be the best emotional support!


Can Animals Be an Emotional Support?


Animals can definitely be good emotional support! Most people who own pets experience the emotional benefits, but things do not stop there.




In fact, there are specific types of animals that can be registered as an ESA which stands for Emotional Support Animal.


But what do these animals do and how does do they help people?


An animal can be registered by a licensed therapist (can also be a doctor or other mental health therapists) as an emotional support animal.


Then, these animals can help provide comfort and eliminate or at least minimize negative symptoms to a person with an emotional or psychological condition.


And do emotional support animals really help?


Yes, emotional support animals really help. However, they are not considered pets. For example, even most airlines allow emotional support animals on the plane.


While there are many different ways these animals help people, they always provide therapeutic care and benefits as they can help alleviate symptoms of issues such as PTSD.


Even animals, especially dogs, that are not registered as ESA and are considered pets can provide many benefits and most of us have experienced this at least on a couple of occasions.


What are the Best Emotional Support Animals?


While most people think that emotional support animals consist of only dogs – that is not quite true. Emotional support animals include:


  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Mice
  • Birds
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Minipigs
  • Ferrets
  • Hedgehogs


The list does not stop and yet it goes a lot further. Even young puppies and kittens can be licensed as emotional support animals.


But is there the best emotional support animal? There is not!


Every animal uniquely does its job, and it helps ease different psychological issues. For example, the best animals for anxiety seem to be dogs.


That is why licensed therapists, psychologists, and institutions help with the analysis and pairing of the best options.


This is just one of many reasons why the best emotional animals need to be licensed first before they start providing a service.


While it might not be always possible to find the best match at first – emotional support animals are still proven to be remarkably effective.


Dogs are a common emotional support choice and if you’re looking forward to finding out the most commonly used breeds – keep on reading!


What Dog Breed is the Best for Emotional Support?


If you had to think of one breed as the best dog breed for emotional support assistance – which breed would you think of?


It is proven that Labrador retriever is the best dog breed for emotional support as they are one of the gentlest breeds.


However, the list does not stop there, yet many other breeds can help as well as Labrador retrievers can.


Other most common dog breed choices for ESAs are:


  • Yorkshire terrierdoctor-and-puppy
  • Beagle
  • Pug
  • Pomeranian
  • Corgi
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Golden retriever


One thing is sure. Dogs are not only some of the best pets out there – but they are also pretty great at providing mental and emotional support to everyone who is struggling with mental illness.


Emotional support animals are becoming increasingly popular and dogs are being at the top of the list.


Unfortunately, not all dog breeds are equally good at providing support and benefiting the patients, so it is important to follow the guidelines and choose a breed with a proven track record.


Do dogs as animal support sound great but you are still not sure how emotional support animals help?


Keep on reading to find out some of the reasons why ESAs make a great choice!


Benefits of Emotional Support Animal Therapy


Emotional support animals do not only work in extreme cases where every help is needed. Instead, emotional support animals can deal with pretty small but significant issues most of us have dealt with at one point in our lives.




Emotional support animals can help with anything from relaxing and calming alleviating loneliness and enhancing social interaction, to even increasing the heart rate and reducing the pain.


Counselling Today wrote a great post on the confirmation of the benefits of emotional support animals which really shows both the good side and the downside of animal therapy.


There are also several studies showing how effective emotional support animal therapy can be.


Therefore, it is guaranteed that emotional support animals can make you happy, reduce loneliness and anxiety, and even reduce boredom.


Another thing emotional support animals can help treat are phobias – but that is not everything.


This makes the best emotional support animals suitable for almost everyone who is dealing with an issue, no matter how big or small it is.


And this is just one of the reasons why emotional support animal therapy is becoming increasingly popular.




With so many best emotional support animals out there, the choice can be really hard.


However, with such a wide range of effectiveness – almost anyone can benefit from having a personal emotional support animal.


And with the simple licensing – the popularity of this type of therapy is spreading rapidly, helping millions of people around the world.


Have you ever come across someone who was benefiting from the emotional support animal therapy?


Feel free to leave your comments and questions below, but also do not hesitate to share the post or share your thoughts in the comment section below!


All the best,


Founder/Creator: Love A Rescue Dog ?



“Saving one animal won’t change the world, but for that one animal, the world changes forever”


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16 thoughts on “Best Emotional Support Animals – ESA”

  1. It looks like you have a couple spelling errors on your website such as the word “Wishs”. Check out a service like SpellAce.com to help. We’ve used it in the past and liked it.

  2. I’m pretty sure you misspelled the word “Wishs” on your site. You might want to check out a site like SpellRadar.com or SiteCheck.com which have helped me with problems like this in the past.

    1. Hello Jarred,
      Please let met know where you are referring to and I will correct it. I do use a spellchecker, but it must have slipped through the cracks.
      However your comment is vague and doesn’t really give me much to go on if you don’t explain where the error is located.

      Thank you,

  3. Hi Barbara,

    Just loved your content, pets have evolved to become acutely attuned to humans behavior and emotions they can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, ease loneliness and provide the most beautiful companionship by adding real joy and unconditional love to human life.

    Your article was truly heart touching, animals are great emotional support and give an emotional connection during tough times.

    It’s amazing how these adorable pets give physical and mental benefits they are better at interpreting human feelings, emotional states and are lifelong loyal friends.

    Great work!


    1. Hello Sam,

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my article about Emotional Support Animals. I am glad that you were able to relate to it so well. I suffer from anxiety and depression and my dog helps a great deal. He is very loving, affectionate and provides me with an extreme amount of comfort.

      Best regards,

  4. Hi
    I agree it is clearly the case that many domesticated animals have been providing emotional support for humans for a long time, and by that, I mean certainly centuries and possibly millennia. So one could say that we are only now coming to formally acknowledge what has been the case for a long time.
    On the subject of dogs, I have long observed how emotionally connected and in harmony, many dogs are with their owners. That emotional connection isn’t always in a compensating and positive sense. I have often witnessed how dogs seem to express the suppressed hostility of their owners with respect to other people. On the other hand, an owner who has a friendly disposition towards other people is also expressed through the friendliness of the dog towards those people as well.
    So it is clear to me that dogs very readily resonate with and replicate our emotional states.
    If I have one question on this topic it would be, do you think there is a price that the emotional support animals take on themselves? Do they just become a sponge for our negative emotions? If that is the case it does seem unfair.
    Thanks, this was a very interesting article.
    Best regards

    1. Hello Andy,
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on my article Best Emotional Support Animals – ESA.

      You are certainly correct when you speak of how long emotional support animals having been providing therapy and emotional relief to humans. However, I do believe that they also have been long recognized for the support they provide. Not knowing for certain but I believe they’ve been recognized as such for at least 40 or 50 years. I has only been within the last 2 decades (that I am aware of) that the need for emotional support animals have become more prevelant. Also, the requirement for them to be certified as such has been increasing tremendously.

      I do believe that a dog does take on the traits of their human if you have the dog long enough. As far as the dogs’ disposition is concerned, I believe it is the sole duty of their human to teach them that certain behaviors are not acceptable, regardless of the humans emotional state. It is my belief, that I humans emotional state is deep altered by the love of dogs and feel it is unfair to place our unpleasantness upon the dog.

      We need to provide as much love and support to the animal, as they are providing to us, especially when we are in a foul mood. We need to comfort one another for the true sense of emotional support to be exacted.

      All the best to you,

      1. Thanks for the clarification, Barbara. My experiences of dogs have been quite different from my childhood and into adulthood. As a child, I was often very afraid of dogs especially large loud dogs. I remember once as a child running along a country path and a dog suddenly appearing at the other end, that just started barking and went for me. The owner had a hard time controlling it and blamed me for the dog’s reaction. I was too young to defend myself verbally and we just didn’t talk back to adults back then. Now we had a dog and I have a much more comfortable relationship with her than I ever have with just about any dog. Hardly a surprise there. But it is clear to me now when I am out walking our dog and some children get scared, I know it is because they are unfamiliar with dogs altogether even though our dog is an absolute sweetie. So no judgment.
        Best regards

        1. Hi Andy,
          Thank you for the follow on comment.

          Some humans that own dogs need to properly train them not to behave that way in public, much the same way as children need to be taught good behavior and manners.

          If a dog isn’t taught from the beginning, we can’t expect obedience from them.

          Have a great Valentines Day!

  5. This is such a wonderful thing- and something I did not know much about. I know first hand with my dog how much of a difference animals make- I find that animals seem to know intuitively how we’re feeling, and there’s nothing quite like being able to have a cuddle with your pet. Thank you for educating me on this topic, I love that there are so many different kinds of animals that made the list!

  6. I once read the story of a woman who adopted a rescue dog and who then wrote a thank you email, telling the rescuer how that dog saved her life. She had cancer, and he was always there for her, laying on her chest. She credited her healing to him, it was really a beautiful story. I read it years ago which is why I cannot tell it very detailed right now 😉

    I also rescued a Pit Bull and found an amazing home for him, and his new guardian took him to work every day (where he behaved so well) and she also registered him as an emotional support dog, he had to pass a test for it and he passed 🙂 I am so happy for him! He has the best life ever and everyone he meets falls in love with him.

    1. Hi Christtine,
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing you thoughts and story about Emotional Support Animals.

      I have to tell you that when I was going through my Chemo and Radiation treatments several years ago, I had a cocker spaniel (Gidget) who would come on the bed and lay her head on my stomach. I am a firm believer in the thought that animals do sense when we are in pain and just need some TLC. When it was Gidgets time to go, I stood by her every step of the way, to let her know I was there for her and I would take her pain away.

      My new rescue, Chance, stays by my side and comforts me whenever I am in pain or feeling distressed. He is also a good protector and will not let anyone approach without making me aware.

      I don’t think I would be able to rescue an animal and the give it away to someone else to raise. I am too emotionally invested in dogs, and only if I could not keep it, would I give it to someone else.

      All the best to you,

  7. Hi. Thanks for your article. I’ve always found that ALL of my dogs were emotionally supportive animals even though they were not officially labeled as such. My dogs have always given me comfort. I had 2 Jack Russell Terriers (I put one down last year) and they brought me so much joy. Then, during the pandemic, I realized how fortunate I am to have them in my life. Yes, I believe that any dog can be an ESA, especially if you’ve developed a repoire with the dog. Dog is man’s best friend. Thanks for the post.

    1. Hi Shalisha,
      Thank you for being here and for providing your caring thoughts about dogs being the best emotional support animals.

      In my lifetime, I’ve never really considered any other animal to provide as much comfort and love as a dog could. I am beginning to see how even horses can provide emotional support to young children, especially those who suffer from autism. I guess it all has to do with the human and which animal they relate to the best. For if you give love and support to any animal, they will reciprocate.

      Be well,

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