Mental Health

Can an Emotional Support Animal Help With Anxiety?

Emotional Support Animal Help With Anxiety

Anxiety stands among numerous emotional disorders receiving diagnoses and prescriptions. However, a plethora of alternative therapies has proven remarkably effective in addressing diverse needs associated with these conditions.

Have you contemplated the idea of having an emotional support animal to help with your anxiety? Is it a viable option, and does it yield tangible benefits? Let’s delve deeper into this.

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety isn’t merely the jittery feeling experienced in uncomfortable situations. It encompasses a spectrum of disorders, including:

  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorders
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • And various other related conditions.

These disorders often impede normal functioning, particularly in social settings, compounding the challenges individuals face. Physical manifestations further complicate navigating daily life for those affected.

How Does an Emotional Support Animal Help With Anxiety

Emotional support animals offer several ways to help individuals dealing with anxiety disorders:

  1. Companionship: People with anxiety often feel drained in social settings. An emotional support animal serves as a constant companion, alleviating feelings of loneliness and providing a comforting presence.
  2. Responsibility: Caring for an animal can instill a sense of purpose. It motivates individuals to tend to their needs, fostering a routine that extends to other areas of life.
  3. Therapeutic Presence: Numerous studies attest to the therapeutic impact of animals. Their mere presence and companionship have shown significant benefits, such as inducing relaxation, aiding sleep, and easing overall symptoms.

Consulting a healthcare professional is crucial in understanding your unique requirements to manage anxiety. While navigating this disorder may seem daunting, it’s possible to lead a fulfilling life with proper support. An emotional support animal can be an invaluable asset, provided you seek guidance and arrange everything necessary for their care.


The role of emotional support animals in helping individuals with anxiety disorders cannot be overstated. Their unwavering companionship and therapeutic effects offer substantial relief. If you’re contemplating this option, prioritize seeking professional advice and ensuring you’re fully prepared to provide and care for an emotional support animal effectively. Taking these steps can significantly contribute to managing anxiety and enhancing overall well-being.

See also: Are You Allowed To Bring Your Service Dog To Work?

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Dr. Jade Marie Tomaszewski is a pathologist-in-training at McGill University, where she also did her degree in MSc Pathology. She obtained her medical degree (MD) from the University of the Philippines, after completing a BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. In her (little) spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, curling up with a book and a large mug of tea, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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