Dogs have always been referred to as man’s best friend, not only for their furry cuddles but also for their unconditional love and loyalty. But did you know that dogs, especially trained service dogs or emotional support animals (ESA), can also offer a range of mental health benefits?

Let’s explore how dogs can provide humans with emotional and mental health support.

Emotional Support Animals

Emotional support animals (ESAs) are pets that provide comfort to people who suffer from emotional or mental health conditions. They can be any kind of animal that helps alleviate symptoms associated with their owner’s condition. ESAs are legally recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and can live in housing that doesn’t allow pets and can also fly alongside their owner on airlines that allow them, but they do not have the same public access rights as service dogs.

Many people who suffer from depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) find it challenging to deal with everyday life and conquer daily tasks. Having an ESA can be a huge source of comfort and emotional support to them. Dogs can help lower stress hormones, reduce anxiety, and, in many cases, provide an increased sense of security and companionship. The mere presence of an ESA can calm one’s mental and emotional space, providing much-needed comfort to people.

Service Dogs

Service dogs are highly trained animals that work to support individuals with disabilities, such as hearing or vision impairment or mobility issues, among others. These dogs assist their owners in tasks that are challenging or impossible for them to maintain independently. They can pick up and retrieve items, open and close doors or drawers, and even offer physical support.

Apart from their trained ability, simply having a service dog can provide individuals with a sense of independence, confidence, and social engagement. Also, many people with disabilities can feel anxious or self-conscious in public places. Service dogs can serve as a buffer and a social lubricant and allow people with disabilities to feel comfortable and self-assured in social environments.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs serve as a form of animal-assisted therapy that uses dogs to help people overcome stress-related conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health challenges. Therapy dogs often interact with people in hospitals, schools, hospices, nursing homes, and institutions where emotional support is needed.

The benefits of therapy dogs are well documented: they help to decrease stress and anxiety, decrease blood pressure and heart rate, increase social interaction, decrease loneliness and depression, and improve overall well-being.

Dogs offer much more than just their companionship. They provide countless emotional and mental health benefits to individuals struggling with specific conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Whether it’s through emotional support, being a service dog, serving as a therapy dog, or simply living in the household as a pet, these furry friends can provide a unique connection and a sense of companionship that can bring much happiness, comfort, and support to humans in need.

Are you looking for top talent in the Specialty Chemical, Advanced Materials, or Animal Health industry?

Contact us to discuss how we can bring top leadership talent to your team. Boaz Partners is a premier executive search firm focused on the direct recruitment of executives and professionals for the specialty chemicals and animal health space. We are your partner, and our focus is on custom recruiting solutions. Follow the link to learn more about how our animal health recruiters can help you.