SUPPORTING ARTICLES AND PODCASTS
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." - Roger Caras
Therapy Animals - Offering Comfort and Cheer to People in Need.
by Alliance for Therapy Dogs
"Animals have been known to offer humans companionship since ages.
However, more recently, therapy animals have been recognized by medical science for the benefits they provide.
There are endless ways that animals like dogs, cats, and horses offer therapeutic benefits and help people heal from physical as well as psychological ailments. Besides assisting humans in recovering from their disabilities, animals are increasingly being used for support as well. They can help to calm anxiety and help someone regain peace, thus improving the quality of life...."
Confirming the Benefits of Emotional Support Animals
by Cynthia K. Chandler, Counseling Today
"....In my 2012 book, Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling, I reviewed several research studies on the psychophysiological and psychosocial benefits of positive social interaction with a pet, such as holding or stroking an animal. These benefits include calming and relaxing, lowering anxiety, alleviating loneliness, enhancing social engagement and interaction, normalizing heart rate and blood pressure, reducing pain, reducing stress, reducing depression and increasing pleasure. Based on the results of these studies, it is plausible that living with an emotional support animal may alleviate symptoms associated with a number of emotional and psychiatric disabilities. HUD states, 'Emotional support animals by their very nature, and without training, may relieve depression and anxiety, and/or help reduce stress-induced pain in persons with certain medical conditions affected by stress.'..."
Ten Ways Pets Support Mental Health
by Newport Academy
"...research validates the benefits of pets for mental health. The mental health benefits of owning a dog or cat have been proven by many scientific studies. Animals help with depression, anxiety, and stress...
...The first research on pets and mental health was published 30 years ago. Psychologist Alan Beck of Purdue University and psychiatrist Aaron Katcher of the University of Pennsylvania conducted the study. Therefore, they measured what happens to the body when a person pets a friendly dog. Here’s what they found:
Blood pressure went down
Heart rate slowed
Breathing became more regular
Muscle tension relaxed.
These are all signs of reduced stress...
...The review found that pets helped the participants to manage their emotions. In addition, it distracted them from the symptoms of their mental health condition..."
Everything You Need to Know About Emotional Support Animals
Emotional support animals (ESAs) refer to dogs and other pets that provide emotional support and comfort to their owners on a daily basis. ESAs legally must be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional like a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist.
Emotional support animals differ from service dogs in a few key ways. Service dogs have been trained to perform specific tasks for individuals, and as such, as usually granted access to anywhere their owner goes. Emotional support animals do not require any specific training, although owners should make sure they’re well-trained in public. ESAs are not granted access to establishments such as restaurants or malls like service dogs are...
The Power of Support from Companion Animals for People Living with Mental Health Problems: a Systematic Review and Narrative Synthesis of the Evidence.
This review suggests that pets provide benefits to those with mental health conditions. Further research is required to test the nature and extent of this relationship, incorporating outcomes that cover the range of roles and types of support pets confer in relation to mental health and the means by which these can be incorporated into the mainstay of support for people experiencing a mental health problem.
Medical Monday, Emotional Support Animals
by Ryan Long, PA-C Dhsc and Dr. Oo, MD Mph
Apple podcast in support of ESAs.