10 Best Emotional Support Animals

a person petting a dog with a green collar

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Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are recommended for humans experiencing emotional challenges. They give us genuine companionship and unconditional support that contributes to our well being. We recommend these 10 as the best emotional support animals.

Close-up of a Harz Roller Canary

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Birds like cockatiels and parakeets are often adopted for emotional support to older adults and senior citizens grappling with loneliness because they have nobody to talk to. Birds can learn human language and vocalize, which makes them good companions. They are also known to be empathic in nature; they can sense emotions around them easily. Birds are good for reducing feelings of isolation.

brown tabby cat on wooden windsor chair

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Unpopular opinion but cats are amazing for emotional support. True, they have an independent streak which cannot be confined to a space. But, once you understand and acknowledge their boundaries, you will appreciate their calm demeanor and the sense of comfort they provide by just being around us.

black framed eyeglasses

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Who else would top the list?! They have been our loyal and compassionate companions for generations. If you have not watched HachikĊ yet, you should! Dogs can easily sense our emotions, be it stress or happiness, and give us unconditional love. No doubts, they are the best emotional support animals out there.

black and grey otter animal

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Ferrets have been known to be excellent for emotional support as they help to deal with stress and anxiety, and various chronic illnesses. Their energy and playfulness, their inquisitiveness, does not allow people to feel lonely and sad. They are always up to some antics which bring about joy and laughter.

two Siamese fighting fishes

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Can fish really give emotional support? You cannot cuddle them or interact like other animals. However, ESA doctors believe that fish invoke engaging parts of our brain when we take care of their well being, by simply feeding and grooming them. The presence of fish in fish tanks is not only aesthetic but they also help people to calm down, which is a distinct psychological effect.

brown and white Guinea pig eating carrot

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Guinea Pigs

It is not commonly known but guinea pigs are extremely smart and intelligent. They are recommended as support animals to people suffering from psychological issues like anxiety or depression. They bond with humans well and once bonded, you can sense an instant energy shift in emotions because they consider their owners as pack leaders, and therefore, they are well attuned to emotional changes.

selective focus photography of brown hamster

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Hamsters are extremely low maintenance pets, and they make great emotional support animals. Their naturally inquisitive behavior inspires joy to those around them. They are friendly, very adorable, joyful, and delightful companions. If you have trouble sleeping, spend time watching hamsters wheel around at night as they are nocturnal animals.

a couple of horses standing next to each other

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Therapists often recommend horses for equine therapy. It has been proven that since they are prey animals, they are instinctively attuned to sense the emotional state of others. Equine therapy is often used to promote emotional regulation, build trust, learn about our vulnerabilities, and learn about mindfulness because you need focus and attention to interact with horses.

white sheep in close up photography

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Llamas and Alpacas

They are certainly unlikely choices for a pet and emotional support. There is an increase in the number of unconventional emotional support animals, and these are one of them. When raised around and by humans, llamas and alpacas become attuned to human emotions, and they help to keep anxiety and stress at bay.

white rabbit on green grass

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Rabbits are calm and gentle, and they can form strong bonds with their humans. Their playful nature and hysterical antics help them to become excellent emotional support animals. They have a calming influence and a soothing presence in your lives. They help to relieve stress and depressive symptoms, and reduce anxiety.


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