• Fort Lauderdale Wellness

The Importance of Emotional Support Animals

Updated: Jun 6, 2019

Look around your classrooms, offices, nursing homes, or even dorm rooms. Nowadays, emotional support animals (ESA) can be seen almost anywhere along side their beloved owners. These animals which are typically dogs or cats can provide emotional support to their owners who may need it for any number of reasons.


Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the law allows a trained service dog to accompany a person with a disability. However, therapy dogs are not service dogs. In the U.S. therapy dogs aren’t awarded all the privileges of service dogs. But the good news is therapy dogs are beginning to be allowed into more and more public places.

Typically one doesn’t see many animals in a dorm or a classroom, but nowadays most students and teachers can have their cuddly companions with them 24/7.

At school, a teacher may bring in their ESA dog to bring the kids comfort and joy. In a dorm room, a student with anxiety can now bring their ESA dog or cat to live with them at college.

Studies have shown that ESA’s can help people diagnosed with anxiety, depression, autism, PTSD, etc.


Here are five reasons you could benefit from an emotional support animal.


A Relaxing Presence

If you’re the type of person that feels tense or uneasy in public, having a dog by your side may give you the sense of relaxation you need to venture out into crowded public places. An ESA dog can provide a calming energy even in the most overwhelming places.

If you’ve had a stressful day at work, returning home to an emotional support cat to cuddle up next to on the sofa may provide the ease and relaxation you need after a long day.


Create Opportunities to Meet New People

Who doesn’t want to pet a cute dog when they see it on the street?By having a fluffy friend by your side, you automatically have a good conversation starter that could lead to building friendships or relationships. This would help people who have socially debilitating illnesses, which makes it difficult to put themselves out there.


Establish a Sense of Safety

Having a dog by your side can provide not only a sense of relaxation but also safety. While emotional support dogs are trained to be well tempered and easy going, just the act of being with one can provide a sense of safety if they experienced a situation or place that made them feel unsafe.


You’ll Always Have a Friend

Since the beginning of time (or so we say) dogs have always been considered man’s best friend. Having a dog provides a friend for anyone, one that will always have your back and love you unconditionally.

Maybe you are more of a cat person. If so, then pick out a cuddly friend that will purr away her love for you.


They Can Give You Back Your Freedom

If you have PTSD or depression, perhaps you’re at a point where leaving the house is uncomfortable. Perhaps a companion to accompany you places could be just what you need. By having an ESA by your side you may regain your confidence. You can return to a place where you can live your life without fear or worry.


Companionship, Love, and Emotional Support

You can visit the United States Dog Registry for more information on which type of service dog will best fit your needs and how to get your dog (or cat) registered to be an ESA. With a furry friend by your side, you’ll always have companionship. You will always have unconditional love, and the confidence to live your life confidently.

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