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Pets of all different shapes and sizes are important for children, especially those with certain psychological conditions like anxiety and depression. Children with these conditions may be able to to make their pet an emotional support animal (ESA) to ease their challenges on a daily basis. An ESA is a dog, cat, or another type of pet that helps alleviate symptoms of an emotional or mental issue through companionship and affection. Also called assistance animals, ESAs have improved the lives of so many people.
Benefits Of Pets
There are many reasons for children to have a loving pet. They keep them company and teach them essential life skills like responsibility and empathy. Children who have certain psychological conditions may have trouble connecting with other children or even adults, which is where an emotional support animal can be beneficial. Many children find it easier to bond with an animal, as they can use nonverbal (or verbal if they prefer) communication to connect with a pet. Pets are nonjudgmental and supportive, providing a safe space for children to express themselves. Read more about the positive effects of pet ownership on children.
Choosing An Emotional Support Animal For Kids
Getting a pet is a family decision, especially if the pet is for a younger child who can’t fully take care of the pet on their own. Pets have different levels of maintenance and costs to consider. It’s important to get a pet that fits your family’s lifestyle and commitment level. Emotional support animals are more than pets to children with certain psychological conditions and the bond between them is powerful, so it’s important to choose the right one for your family. Here are some of the types of ESA’s available for your children:
Emotional Support Dogs
Dogs are great emotional support animals for children, as they have higher levels of energy and enjoy lots of play time. There are both small and large dog breeds that enjoy being part of a family with children, but some breeds are known for being the best emotional support dogs and more kid-friendly than others. If you are looking for an ESA dog, head to your local shelter to find dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes looking for a loving home.
Emotional Support Cats
Cats are a lower maintenance emotional support animals that are often wonderful with children. They are more independent and tolerant of being left alone and are easy to travel with. Many airlines only allow dogs and cats as emotional support animals. There are no specific cat breeds known to be better for emotional support; it just depends on which cat can give support and a sense of ease to those struggling with a mental or emotional issue.
Small Pets As Emotional Support Animals
Many therapists only recognize the therapeutic benefits of dogs and cats as emotional support animals, but kids can benefit from all different types of pets. Small animals like rabbits and guinea pigs can also help lower stress and anxiety in children and are easy pets to have around.
Emotional support animals can help children with a wide variety of psychological conditions. Pets help teach empathy and responsibility to your children while lowering their stress and anxiety levels as well. Children who have trouble connecting with their peers often bond easily with an emotional support animal. Learn more about how you can find an emotional support animal for your family.
What experience do you have with pets providing emotional support?