Emotional Support Animals and ADHD: Finding Comfort in A Companion
8 mins read

Emotional Support Animals and ADHD: Finding Comfort in A Companion

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disease, is a neurodevelopmental disease that causes people to be hyperactive, impulsive, and not pay attention. Although medicine and therapy are common ways to treat ADHD, more and more people are realizing that emotional support animals (ESAs) can also help by being comforting and companions for people with ADHD. We will talk about the connection between ADHD and emotional support animals (ESAs) in this piece. We will also talk about how ESAs can help and what people who are thinking about this type of therapy might want to think about.

How to Understand ADHD and Its Problems

People of all ages can have ADHD, but kids are most often identified with it. People who have ADHD often have trouble staying focused on chores, acting on impulses, and doing too much physical activity. Having these signs can have a big effect on many areas of your life, such as your ability to do well in school, at work, and with friends and family. Living with ADHD can also be hard on your emotions, causing anger, low self-esteem, and worry.

Medication, behavioral therapy, and changes to the person’s living are common ways to treat ADHD in the past. A lot of people can benefit from these interventions, but some may need more help to deal with their symptoms and improve their general health.

What emotional support animals do for people

People with mental health problems can get emotional support animals, which are pet animals that give them comfort, company, and a sense of safety. In contrast to service animals, which are trained to do specific jobs for disabled people, ESAs don’t need any special training. They instead help with therapy just by being there and being loving.

Animals that provide mental support can help people with ADHD in a number of ways:


Many people with ADHD may feel lonely or isolated because they have trouble making friends and keeping relationships going. An ESA can be a constant friend who loves and supports you without any conditions.

Structure and Routine: 

Having an emotional support animal around can help give your daily life a sense of structure and routine. Regular feeding, exercise, and playtime schedules are good for pets and can also be good for people with ADHD by encouraging consistency and predictability.

Less stress: 

Talking to an ESA has been shown to make people feel less stressed and more relaxed. Petting or cuddling an animal can make your body release feel-good hormones like oxytocin and lower the production of stress hormones like cortisol. This can help people with ADHD who are anxious or irritable feel better.

Physical Activity: 

Many emotional support animals, like dogs, need to be exercised regularly, which can motivate people with ADHD to be active. Focus, mood regulation, and overall cognitive function all get better with regular exercise, which is good for people with ADHD.

Emotional Control: 

Emotional support animals are amazingly good at figuring out how their owners are feeling and making them feel better when they’re upset. For people with ADHD who have trouble controlling their emotions, having an ESA can be a calming presence and help them deal with their feelings better.

Picking the Right Animal to Help You Feel Better

When someone with ADHD wants to get an emotional support animal, they should make sure that the pet fits in with their lifestyle, preferences, and needs. Dogs and cats are two of the most common choices for ESAs, but rabbits, birds, and even reptiles can also be great companions.

When picking an emotional support animal, here are some things to think about:

Personality and Temperament: The animal’s personality and way of life should match the owner’s. For instance, someone who likes to be active and be outside might do better with a high-energy dog, while someone who likes quiet company at home might do better with a more laid-back cat.

Skin and allergy problems: 

It is important to think about whether the person is allergic to or sensitive to certain kinds of animals. Choosing a breed or species that is hypoallergenic can help reduce allergic reactions and keep the home peaceful.

Situation in which you live: 

When choosing an emotional support animal, you should also think about where you live and things like space, noise level, and pet policies. People who rent apartments or houses may have to follow certain rules when it comes to having pets.

Being able to take care of the animal: 

It takes time, work, and money to take care of an emotional support animal. People who have ADHD should think about whether they can give the animal the care and attention it needs, such as feeding, grooming, and veterinary care.

How the law treats emotional support animals

In the United States, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) protect emotional support animals in certain ways. These laws say that people with mental health problems, like ADHD, can live with their emotional support animals in places that don’t allow pets and can fly with their ESAs in the cabin of an airplane without any extra fees or rules.

But it’s important to keep in mind that service animals and emotional support animals don’t always have the same rights. Service dogs are trained to do specific tasks for disabled people. Emotional support dogs, on the other hand, provide therapeutic support just by being there, so they are regulated and accommodated in different ways.

Notes and Cautionary Statements

People with ADHD can benefit a lot from having emotional support animals, but it’s important to be careful and responsible when using this type of therapy. Some things to think about and safety measures to take are listed below:

Talking to Health Care Professionals: 

People with ADHD should talk to their doctor or a mental health professional before getting an emotional support animal to make sure this type of therapy is right for them. A health care professional can help the person choose the right kind of animal and make suggestions for how to include the ESA in their treatment plan.

Training and socialization: 

Emotional support animals don’t have to go through formal training like service animals do, but it’s still important to make sure the animal is well-behaved and has met other people. A good training program can help keep behavior problems at bay and make sure that the owner and ESA get along well.

Money Matters to Think About: 

Adopting a pet means spending money on things like food, vet visits, grooming, and other supplies. People with ADHD should think about whether they can afford to take care of an emotional support animal for its whole life.

Different Treatments: 

Emotional support animals can be a helpful addition to regular ADHD treatments, but they shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for therapy or medication. It is important to look into a full treatment plan that might include a mix of interventions that are specifically designed to meet the needs of the person.

In the end

People with ADHD can have a hard time in many areas of their lives, but emotional support animals can be a source of comfort and stability for those dealing with the difficulties of this disorder. The bond between people and their ESAs can be very strong, whether it’s a loyal dog, a loving cat, or another animal friend. This bond can help people’s emotional health and quality of life. If people with ADHD know about the benefits, issues, and legal framework of emotional support animals, they can make smart choices about whether to include this type of therapy in their treatment plan.