Dogs are truly amazing. Pet them, and you feel calmer. They look at you with love, and their love is purely unconditional. Most people don’t have proven ways to feel love and serenity in their lives. Depending on your situation, an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) could save every family member.
Shortens child meltdowns
Let’s talk about the kids first. While growing up, children have temper tantrums and meltdowns. If you need to discipline your child, you won’t be able to provide the peace and sense of calmness the child needs.
But on the other hand, a dog will step up to the plate and do precisely that. The dog will sense the child is having a meltdown, put his head on the child’s lap, and nudge him to be petted.
When petting a dog, the child’s blood pressure decreases. Dopamine floods his brain as he strokes the dog. Dopamine is associated with feelings of love, bonding, and pleasure.
Within about five minutes, the child will forget why he had a temper tantrum or meltdown and start playing with his toys, playing more with the dog, or falling asleep. Thus, emotional support animals are an excellent way to keep family unity.
Saves teens from depression and divorce
Studies show the connection between dogs and teens and how that interaction helps reduce the risk they’ll become depressed.
When teens take on caring for a dog, they develop a sense of taking responsibility. They also have a companion, so they aren’t alone. Pets, of course, improve their mood.
These positive effects are significant when families experience a difficult scenario such as divorce. It’s easy for children to try to take on the parents’ problems and blame themselves for causing the divorce.
This is another excellent time to have an emotional support animal around to lessen the pain.
Relieves mental conditions
Emotional support animals provide comfort for those going through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Unfortunately, there may be times in your children’s lives when they might be exposed to sexual abuse from distant relatives or neighbors, bullying, or in some cases, an on-campus shooting spree.
Having a dependable emotional support animal can help relieve these difficult times. Dogs have a way of getting you out of your shell by going for a walk to smell the roses or playing with frisbees or sticks.
During these activities, you have to be present and can’t think about the past. And that alone helps you heal from PTSD.
Helps family members with mental disease
No one ever plans to experience depression, anxiety, or different phobias. These things happen.
Studies have found that people who experience bipolar disorder or schizophrenia benefit from having an emotional support animal as a companion.
Researchers discovered that the quality of life improves when adding an animal is included in the treatment plan. So far, the best combination was 10 sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy combined with an emotional support animal.
Whenever you have an emotional support animal around, it feels like you have your best friend with you.
Aids college adjustment
When your child goes off to college, an emotional support animal may be able to accompany her.
Bringing an emotional support animal along can help decrease the depression and loneliness college students feel. And now, the Fair Housing Act mandates that ESAs be allowed in university dorms.
Reduces stress for parents
Next, consider the parents. Most parents these days are scattered in many different ways. They have to work full time, take care of the children’s needs, often drive children to their appointments, and still plan time for each other. It’s a schedule packed with nothing but busyness.
The stress from a troubled day at work melts when a parent walks into the home and sees the family dog. Your dog will wag its tail and be happier when you are home. Some dogs find it difficult to contain themselves and do little dances for their owner, trying to get the owner to smile. And once you smile, your stress load is immediately relieved.
Even if you are a work-at-home parent, your dog could be a huge emotional support animal for you. Dogs are social animals, and they like to reaffirm you are OK throughout the day.
They’ll come to you at your desk and ask to be petted when working to meet deadlines. They won’t just leave you alone in your bubble of stress and pressure. They’ll interrupt you so you can release some of that stress and feel the effects of dopamine from petting them.
Helps grandparents cope with grief
Now consider the grandparents. Seniors may start developing anxiety disorders and depression, but having a pet around for emotional support helps their mental health.
Also, the elderly tend to experience more deaths of friends than those who are younger. They realize they need to develop new loving relationships. Having a dog accompany you when you meet new people makes the process easier. An emotional support animal can help grandparents feel loved and get back on their feet after a death or other trauma.
Adding emotional support animals benefits the whole family
Whether it’s stabilizing your intense emotions, keeping you on track with work projects, or making you feel loved, emotional support animals can do your entire family good.
But there’s still more to learn about the whole topic. Find out more about getting an emotional support animal certificate at ESAcertificate.org.