There is nothing purer than the relationship between a pet and its owner. A pet loves you unconditionally no matter who you are, how much money you have, and where you come from. The only thing that is important to them is your love and accompanying you wherever you go.

This loyalty and adoration is one of the reasons that emotional support animals are considered essential for the treatment of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

For the eight million people in the world who have PTSD, the relationship with a pet goes far beyond that of love. These animals are also therapeutic. Suffering from PTSD can be challenging, especially when it comes to doing routine activities.

Emotional support animals, or ESAs, as they are called, are there to help manage the painful symptoms of a condition that few people understand. These loving companions make it possible for some people to live, work, and drive.

Understanding what PTSD is

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety-based condition that develops from trauma.

It is common for someone to develop this disorder after being in a car accident, being a victim of violence, or having participated in a war or military conflict. Experts say there are four categories that a person will experience after their trauma.

1. Relive the event

Keep in mind that the severity of the trauma and the symptoms experienced vary from person to person, and no two cases are the same. The first symptom is flashbacks or reliving the trauma over and over again. When a person has these flashbacks, it can cause significant discomfort.

At this time, people with PTSD may experience things like a high heart rate, sweating, nausea, a feeling of impending doom, or they may feel like they are going to pass out .

They may also have strong nightmares in which they relive the trauma in their sleep. Flashbacks are frequent and come from your thoughts or an external source trigger.

2. Avoidance

Avoidance comes from the mind’s attempt to avoid reliving pain. For example, if a person experiences a car accident, they may be afraid of being in a car. They can relate the vehicle to the trauma they experienced, and this is where a support animal can be of great help.

3. Excitation

A person going through this stage of recovery will have periods of insomnia, anger, irritability, and a constant state of alertness. This stage is similar and could turn into depression, as this person will lose interest in the things they love. It is also not uncommon for you to feel guilt or shame about things that have happened.

When you go through this stage you will be able to lash out at those around you for no reason. Dealing with the things that have happened to you often is more than your mind can bear, so it is short-circuited.

4. Mood disorders

The feelings that accompany PTSD are overwhelming. If you suffer from PTSD, you may feel that you are so overwhelmed with the burden of your mental torment that you will feel suicidal.

It’s easy to develop other mental health disorders along with PTSD, such as depression, generalized anxiety, agoraphobia, panic attacks, and even personality disorders.

Fortunately, emotional support animals have proven to be a great source of comfort during some of life’s darkest times.

What are the best emotional support animals?

Most people think that the best emotional support animal for PTSD is a dog or a cat. However, there are many other animals approved and actively used like ESA. These are the different animals that you can consider.

1. Dogs

Dogs have been called man’s best friends because of their unique bond with humans. They are intuitive and can detect when a person is about to have a seizure or a mental breakdown. Canines are used in police work and as emotional support animals as they are very attuned to their master.

Many people with PTSD like the feeling of having a dog around. Taking them for a walk in the park or playing fetch gives you a reason to get out of bed and get moving.

When you have PTSD, you will often have times when you feel isolated, but having a dog with you can help you feel more in tune with the world around you rather than separate from it.

Since there are more than 339 breeds of dogs, and they are divided into ten different categories. The breeds that best serve as a support animal are the following.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

You may like this dog if you want a calmer and quieter animal. Being so friendly, they are also suitable for being around children. They are highly intelligent, which makes it easier for them to discern when you are in danger or about to have a panic attack.


Retrievers are extremely easy to train, and their larger size helps a person with PTSD feel more connected to reality. These dogs will require you to take them for a walk and spend time with them playing outside.

If you are struggling and let your trauma get in the way, then they can give you a reason to get out there and adjust. Being in nature is one of the best therapies for someone who has suffered trauma.


If you live in an apartment or smaller space and want a slightly more compact dog, then you should consider the schnauzer. These canines do not tend to be thieves like some of the other smaller breeds.

They are easy to train, obedient, and very loyal to their master. If you want your mood to soar, then you should consider one of these miniature varieties.


The Havanese is another ideal dog for people with PTSD who live in small spaces. They love to snuggle and sit on your lap, so if you need therapy that requires a dog to always be in your area, then they are a wonderful emotional support animal for you.


Standard or miniature poodles are great options. They love to please and care for you, which makes them a great ESA. These dogs have a long history of helping people during panic attacks or seizures. They also provide constant companionship.

Boxer shorts

Boxers are very smart, and playing with them and teaching them new tricks can be very entertaining. A person who continually fears an attack from his trauma can be safer knowing that a large dog can protect him if he finds himself in a dangerous situation again.

Their muscular stature makes them look bad, but they are very gentle giants.

Many other dog breeds are also great for those with PTSD who need emotional support animals . Do some research to find the best puppy for you and your situation.

2. Cats

Cats are the perfect animal for those who do not want a pet that requires constant attention. The very nature of a feline is that of self-reliance. Cats are calmer than most dogs, but they are smart.

They can sense your emotions and provide you with company just like their canine counterparts. Choosing the breed can be important when trying to select an emotional support animal . For example, the Himalayas often tend to be extremely attached to their owners.

3. Rabbits

Some people who have PTSD do not feel able to go outside, so a rabbit is an excellent choice for an indoor person. They don’t need to be taken for walks or have constant attention, but they can still hug and provide company.

The biggest problem with keeping a rabbit indoors is clutter. They require their cage to be constantly cleaned and their food and water bowls filled once a day. If you want to spend time outdoors with them, you can take them out for a walk using a harness.

4. Ponies

Mini horses have become quite popular in recent times as support animals. A pony is the size of a large dog. They are very intuitive and excellent companions. In addition, they can provide a good feeling of protection due to their size.

5. Ferrets

A ferret might not seem like the best option for everyone, but it’s certainly an interesting one. They have a lot of energy and can be quite entertaining.

They don’t like snuggling or cuddling, but they can still have an excellent bond with their family. While they are not for everyone, it is certainly an option that you can consider.

The emotional support that a pet can provide not only focuses on a therapy for people with PTSD, but animals are a perfect and recommended company for the development and growth of children, adults and as a faithful friend of people. of the third Age.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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