We all know that dogs are the most popular pets to provide emotional support and therapy to humans. Dogs are amiable and spirited beings that have been a man's best friend for a long time. But if you already have dogs or are looking for other pets to adopt, I got you! Multiple types of research have shown that pets can help people with Alzheimer's, anxiety, and depression improve positively.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), therapy pets undergo training to help people with disabilities. To consider your pet a therapy animal, it has to be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional. Pets can eventually support people through specific training and provide kinship and comfort for people with mental health struggles such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
Cats have a reputation for being snobbish and aloof. But if you are getting pets to help with depression, cats can be a good candidate. Once they are fully domesticated and comfortable, they are adorable little creatures who are independent too. Plus, they require less attention, so it would not be so hard to take care of them. Some cat breeds that are best for support are the Sphynx, Siamese, Bengal, Russian Blue, and Exotic Shorthair.
Rabbits are popular pets used in animal therapy as they are excellent emotional support for anxiety and depression. Their nature as animals is that they are highly social beings who love to be held, and they can generate calmness to their owners as they are easily adaptable to humans. Rabbits are very easy to care for just like cats, thus making them the best companions.
Guinea pigs are very popular companions and have become a religious symbol for thousands of years, widely adopted as pets. Because they are tiny, they can easily be held and petted. They are also gentle, playful, and interactive. If you plan to get a guinea pig as an emotional support pet, it is better to adopt a pair as they are social animals and cannot be isolated. You can also opt for a hamster or gerbil as they are friendly rodents.
Birds may not be the most popular therapy pets, but they are surprisingly extraordinarily loving and intelligent creatures. For example, parrots can mimic human speech. They are also empathetic creatures that can help people with anxiety since they can sense fear, anger, and tension. Because of this, birds can effectively prevent emotional outbursts.
While it may be hard to bring home a horse as a pet, they can still be effective animals for therapy. Today, many horse therapy farms in the US are full of trained horses where people with mental health struggles, terminal illnesses, and trauma survivors can visit. Since these animals are naturally playful, they can be hugged and petted to calm people with anxiety. Studies also show that they can help children become more motivated to do physical therapy.