A blonde woman sits on the steps of a cabin while happily giving her dog a treat while smiling. One dog sits next to her while the other eat the treat.

How Dogs Become Emotional Support Superstars

All dog lovers can attest to the immense happiness and joy of a dog’s unconditional love, cheerfulness, and companionship. And it’s these traits that make them excellent for emotional support. Here’s what to know about emotional support dogs, and how they support people’s emotional well-being.

What is an Emotional Support Dog?

All dogs have the capacity to offer an emotional connection to their owner. However, they need to be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional to legally be considered an emotional support dog.

This means that a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist has to determine that the presence of the animal is needed for the mental and emotional well-being of the person. Emotional support dogs can be any breed and any age.

Is an Emotional Support Dog a Service Dog?

While some people may use these terms interchangeably, they are different. 

Service dogs are trained animals to help assist or guide individuals with a disability (physical, intellectual, mental, and sensory). These companions help with everyday tasks like…

  • Pulling a wheelchair
  • Retrieving items
  • Visual guidance
  • Medical assistance

Who Can Benefit the Most from an Emotional Support Dog?

There is a wide variety of people who can benefit from having emotional support dogs. This includes…

  • Veterans and active soldiers
  • At-risk children and teens
  • People with mental health issues
  • People with high stress and anxiety

Whether they’re for emotional support or to just be your best friends, dogs are a great source of infinite affection and companionship, which everyone can benefit from.

Why Dogs Are Great Emotional Support Animals

As previously mentioned, all animals can be emotional support animals. But why do dogs stand out as emotional support stars? There are a few reasons.


Whether it’s through their eager greetings or mere presence throughout the day, dogs offer a consistent source of friendship and love. This helps to alleviate loneliness, deterring depression and insecurity.

Empathetic and Intuitive

Dogs have a natural ability to sense their owner’s emotions, and they often respond with comforting behaviors if they sense distress. This intuitive and empathetic nature allows them to fully and eagerly support their owner through hardships, downtimes, and emotional turmoil.

Comfort and Encouragement

With an affectionate and playful nature, dogs can easily uplift anyone’s spirits. They also require a sense of routine, which adds a feeling of normalcy and familiarity for their owner as well.

Learn More at Get Joy

Get Joy is dedicated to providing dog owners with the resources they need to live a high-quality life with their canine companions. Our meals, treats, and supplements ensure fresh healthy living and our blog offers reliable information and resources. Learn more about how we can support your dog’s quality of life today!