Animal Lovers: Top 10 Most Popular Emotional Support Animals

Animal lovers have benefited mentally and emotionally from the pets that share their home since the first wolf decided a campfire looked cozy. Now, animals are taking their place as official support for those who struggle with depression, anxiety, phobias, loneliness, and other forms of emotional distress.  Any animal can be seen as an emotional support animal (ESA) if they have a bond with you and ease whatever emotional strain you may be under. If you’re interested in knowing which animals make the best ESAs, keep reading. 

1. Dogs

Dogs are ideal support animals as they are trainable, friendly, and responsive. Some breeds of dogs are more suited to being emotional support dogs to their human than others. Some of the highest ranking include Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, Corgis, Poodles, and Maltese.

2. Cats

While cats are less predictable than dogs, a purring cat in your arms can be one of the best esa! Picking a breed known for affection such as a Russian Blue or Persian and cuddling them often as kittens can help ensure you get a support cat that isn’t aloof. 

3. Rabbits

Rabbits are quick to bond with people and have the softest fur. By nature playful, cuddly, and curious, being around a rabbit may ease anxiety and depression.

4. Guinea Pigs

Gentle and interactive, guinea pigs that are handled from young make excellent support animals. Plan on getting two so they don’t get lonely. To get your pet registered as an official emotional support animal, apply for esa certification.

5. Ponies or Miniature Horses

These animals are often used on therapy farms for those with learning disabilities, terminal illness, or recovering from trauma. They are calm animals that love people. 

6. Parrots

Parrots are bright and colorful pets that may respond to the emotional state of their owner. With their ability to mimic what they hear, parrots bring joy and fun to their owners.

7. Alpacas and Llamas

Surprised? When raised around people, these animals are empathetic, friendly, and gentle by nature. Their coats are exceptionally soft. Alpacas are smaller than llamas and may feel more accessible.

8. Goats

Goats are social animals that can read their owner’s emotional state. Calm and gentle, goats are surprisingly social and happy to be around people.

9. Pigs

Pigs are some of the most intelligent and social animals around. They love attention and communicate using a repertoire that includes barking, squealing, and even laughing. Miniature pigs or Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs are known as the best support animals.

10. Chickens

When raised with human contact, chickens can be delightfully affectionate. Their personalities and quirks make them entertaining to be around.   

Emotional Support for Animal Lovers

Animal lovers will be quick to agree that a loving pet is one of the best types of emotional support. From the tactile benefits of giving and receiving love, to their wordless connection that eases the stress of life, esa animals make life better. 

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